Skip to main content Skip to main content

Florida FWC Biologist Makes Heroic Black Bear Rescue

Florida FWC Biologist Makes Heroic Black Bear Rescue
Adam Warwick was more concerned with stepping on sting rays than being clawed by the bear. Image via kik.com

What do you do when you see a 375-pound black bear take a leap into the Gulf of Mexico? If you are Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) biologist Adam Warwick, you heroically dive into the ocean without hesitation to rescue the six-and-a-half-foot tall animal, thinking more of saving a bruin in peril than about potential injury from razor-sharp claws or fierce teeth.

After wandering into a residential neighborhood near Alligator Point, approximately 40 miles south of Tallahassee, Fla., the bear was hit with a tranquilizer dart so that it could be safely removed. However, before the disoriented behemoth could be captured, it did something totally unexpected -- it jumped into the Gulf of Mexico and started to make the four-mile swim across the harbor.

Warwick said that, at one point, "the bear reared up on his hind legs in the water." Then, instead of lunging forward, the animal fell backwards. The bear went underwater for a few seconds, and that's when Warwick realized he had to take immediate action in order to save the animal from drowning. The Florida biologist didn't waste time as he stripped off his shirt and dove into the Gulf for the black bear rescue.


According to FWC officials, "Warwick kept one arm underneath the bear and the other gripping the scruff of its neck to keep the bear's head above water. Warwick said he walked barefoot over concrete blocks crusted with barnacles in the 4-foot-deep water as he tried to guide and use the water to help float the bear back to shore."


Warwick commented that, "The scariest part was probably when he decided -- he started looking at me as if he wanted to climb up on me to keep from drowning…"

As he recounted the story to CBS co-anchor Maggie Rodriquez, Warwick said that he was more concerned about getting stung by a stingray as he carried the bear across the muddy floor of the harbor than he was about being injured by the animal. "I've got a few cuts on my feet from the claws and barnacles, but other than that, I'm doing good," he stated following the dramatic rescue.

Once Warwick was able to get the bear back safely back to land, a local backhoe operator arrived at the scene to help secure the animal onto a truck for relocation to Osceola National Forest near Lake City, Fla.

Mysterious Elk Die-Offs

In September of 2013 a herd of more than 100 elk were found dead in New Mexico. The elk had not been shot, so poachers were not to blame. Experts believe that the deaths were caused by epizootic hemorrhagic disease, or EHD.

We rounded up the most bizarre mass animal deaths from the last decade. Read the full story.

Image via dw_ross

Hunter Stranded in Alaska for Seven Days

In mid September, Adrian Knopps was bear hunting with a friend when he became stranded with little food, no shelter, and no way to call for help.

What were those seven days like? Read the full story.

Image via Jerzystrzelecki

Florida Woman Mauled by Black Bear

On December 2, 2013, 54-year-old Susan Chalfant was out walking her dogs when she was mauled by a black bear in her residential neighborhood near Wekiwa Springs State Park in Central Florida.

Officials from the FWCC are calling it the worst documented bear attack in Florida history. Read the full story.

Image via Jon Sullivan

Possible VA State Record Black Bear

On December 7, 2013, Tyler Napier killed a 728-pound male black bear in Charlotte County that may be Virginia's all-time bruin.

Read the full story.

Photo courtesy Tyler Napier

Man Dies After Hawaiian Shark Attack

On December 2, 2013 Patrick A. Briney of Stevenson, Wash. was kayak fishing off the coast of Maui when a shark bit his right foot, which was hanging in the water. His friend tried to stop the bleeding by tying a tourniquet, but was unsuccessful.

Read the full story.

Black Rhino Hunter Receives Death Threats

Corey Knowlton faced public backlash in January following a Dallas Safari Club fundraiser auction where he paid $350,000 for a license to hunt African black rhino, an endangered species. CNN reported on Friday that, after receiving multiple death threats from animal lovers, the Texas hunter and his family went into hiding in a Nevada hotel room under 24-hour guard.

Read the full story.

Wildlife Advocate Poaches Elk

Idaho wildlife officials shocked area residents with the announcement that wildlife advocate Marv Hoyt pled guilty to poaching two elk in early November, 2013.

Read the full story.

Video: Kayak Angler Fights Off Sailfish

Kayak angler Jasper Pons, 44, recently left the shores of Westbrook, South Africa with the intention of catching a few mackerel to bring home for dinner. Instead, he and a fishing buddy ended up with a sheer adrenaline rush and six minutes of rare video footage that documents an epic battle with a 'hot ' sailfish.

Read the full story.

Video: FL Students Reel in 700-Pound Hammerhead

Viktor Hluben went on a nighttime shark fishing trip that he will never forget. Find out what happened after the 90-minute fight.

Read the full story.

FWC Biologist Rescues Drowning Black Bear

Would you jump in the water to save a 6-foot tall, 375-pound Florida black bear? Find out what happened when Florida FWC biologist Adam Warwick did just.

Read the full story.

What's the craziest bear story you've heard? Share it with us in the comments!

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

Recent Videos

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

Buy Digital Single Issues

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Game & Fish App

Other Magazines

See All Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top Game & Fish stories delivered right to your inbox every week.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Game & Fish subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now