HUNTINGDON COUNTY, PA (WTAJ/CNN) – A Pennsylvania man out for a quiet night of fishing got quite a shock when he saw a bear cub struggling in the lake water.
Brad Meck says he noticed a little object bobbing in the water at a distance and at first thought it was a log or beaver.
“Then it got closer, and I looked at it and thought, ‘Holy crap, it's a baby bear!’" Meck said.
The fisherman says the little bear cub could barely manage to keep its snout of the water and moved quickly towards the boat, as if it were asking for help.
Once the cub was close enough, Meck reached for it with little hesitation.
"Just as I was ready to grab it, I thought to myself, 'Please don't bite me.' But it was as calm as can be and didn't show any hostility towards me,” he said.
Meck says despite the potential danger, doing nothing was not an option.
"It was going to drown if I didn't help it. I never thought anything else other than get it, help it and take it to shore,” he said.
Once in the boat, the little bear sneezed out some water and calmly sat by Meck’s side, he says.
With no cell phone service out on the lake, Meck began to think about what to do with the cub.
"I had seen the direction it was swimming in, so I kind of figured maybe the mom swam across first, and because the baby was so little, it was struggling. I just figured she'd be up on the bank somewhere, so that's where I dropped it off and figured hopefully they'd get reunited again,” he said.
Finally on dry land, the bear briefly took a look back then made his into the woods.
The Pennsylvania Game Commission says they understand Meck acted out of the kindness of his heart, but they wouldn’t recommend physically contacting the animal in this situation and to contact them instead.
Copyright 2017 WTAJ, Brad Meck via CNN. All rights reserved.