This article was originally posted on: https://www.huffpost.com
A hunting dog named Charlie found himself in quite a predicament after falling into a narrow cave shaft in eastern Tennessee. The brave pup was trapped nearly 40 feet underground. What made his ordeal even more extraordinary was the discovery of an uninvited neighbor in the cave, a 200-pound black bear!
Firefighter Tori Downing shared her surreal experience, saying;
“As I rounded the corner, I could see two little bear feet and a quite large claw grasping onto the wall beside him,”
while attempting a rescue on Tuesday. Thankfully, Charlie was farther along in the cave, past his much larger slumbering cave mate. The bear, estimated to be about 2 years old, seemed unfazed and content with his ‘cave mate.’
After consultation with the state wildlife agency, rescuers decided the safest option was to let the bear come out on his own. They even set up a trail camera to monitor his exit. Once the bear left, a team of heroes from multiple fire and rescue crews descended into the cave, placed a harness on Charlie, and brought him to safety.
After three days underground, Charlie emerged dehydrated and hungry but otherwise in good condition. His happy reunion with his owner was a heartwarming moment. It’s a tale that showcases the bravery of both our four-legged friends and the dedicated rescue teams. Charlie’s bear, it appears, is now savoring the cave all to himself.