A team of rescuers came to the rescue of a Tennessee dog who spent three days trapped in a cave with a bear.
Charlie is a hunting dog and became stuck in his dangerous predicament after he fell 40 feet down an “extremely narrow cave shaft” in Sevier County. The Waldens Creek Volunteer Fire Department was called to save him and worked with several local groups to find and free the dog.
WCVFD shared photos, video and the details of the rescue in a Facebook post. They began, “The rescue team arrived on scene, (off Nuns Cove Road) yesterday morning and hiked to the mouth of the cave. Firefighter Tori Downing and Captain Jon Lanier of the WCFD, descended into the cave to rescue the trapped hunting dog.”
So far so good until Firefighter Downing made an unexpected discovery. “Things took a turn when Firefighter Downing rounded a corner and found a bear sleeping five feet below her and the trapped hunting dog farther in the cave system,” explained WCVFD.
With the added danger and complication of a bear in the cave with Charlie, “The team exited the cave and trail cameras were set up to monitor the cave exit to signal when the bear left.”
Three days later the team returned and “found that the bear had left the cave and not returned.”
At this point several firefighters entered the cave on a rope system and descended down and located the trapped Charlie. They shared a video of the moment Charlie was pulled from the cave.
The crew were able to fashion a harness for Charlie and then hoisted him out.
“All told, Charlie was trapped in the cave for three days and for some of that time, shared it (unwillingly) with an approximately 2 year old, 200 pound bear,” they said.
“Charlie was quickly reunited with his happy owner,” the group of rescuers wrote, adding that Charlie was dehydrated and hungry “but in otherwise good condition.”