Bear gives company to trapped dog in Tennessee cave

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A rescuer can be seen photographed with the dog as he tries to pull him out of a cave in Tennessee in this picture released on October 12, 2023. — Facebook/Waldens Creek Volunteer Fire Department
A rescuer can be seen photographed with the dog as he tries to pull him out of a cave in Tennessee in this picture released on October 12, 2023. — Facebook/Waldens Creek Volunteer Fire Department

An unusual incident was reported by local firefighters and rescuers in Tennessee as they were busy saving a dog that went inside a cave and could not come out. 

After responding to the reports, the rescue mission started to save the dog — Charlie — but was found that there was another companion 200-pound bear 40 feet deep inside the narrow shaft.   

The dog stayed there for three days as it was trapped in the cave on English Mountain in eastern Tennessee.

Facebook post from the Waldens Creek Volunteer Fire Department noted that a team of rescuers consisting of “rope rescue technicians” from several fire departments set off on the mission to free Charlie.

The team started their mission and went into the cave but encountered a “bear sleeping five feet below and the trapped hunting dog farther in the cave system,” the Facebook post stated.

The dog’s companion was a 200-pound bear.

The team left the cave and set up trail cameras to track when the bear left the cave. Afterwards, it was noticed that the bear “had left the cave and not returned.”

Three firefighters descended into the cave.

An official in the rescue team told WVLT: “At first, we actually thought the dog had slipped further into the cave where we couldn’t access. It was kinda sad because we felt like we were gonna have to leave the dog there.”

“As we’re about to head back out, I looked back one more time and I saw his antenna from his tracker collar,” another firefighter told WVLT.

Charlie was dehydrated and hungry, but in otherwise good condition,” said the Waldens Creek Volunteer Fire Department.

Later on “Charlie was quickly reunited with his happy owner.”

English Mountain is near Tennessee’s Great Smoky Mountains National Park, described by the National Park Service as “one of the largest protected areas in the eastern United States where black bears can live in wild, natural surroundings.” An estimated 1,900 bears live in the park.

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