A mother bear was caught on camera last week in British Columbia rescuing her cub from drowning in Pitt Lake.
Video taken on June 26 captured the rescue.
“There’s a mama bear and two cubs crossing the lake right now to come to shore,” Paul Csintalan, who filmed the rescue, can be heard saying on camera.
Multiple cries can be heard from where the cubs are swimming, with one cub trailing behind the mother and its sibling.
A few seconds later, the cub appears to be drifting farther away as the mother is seen in the video turning back towards the young bear.
Csintalan told Global News the mother responded first to the cries of the smaller bear he says was closer to the mother.
While he was focusing on the cub farther away because it was crying more loudly, the smaller one went under water.
“My heart kind of stopped,” he said. “It went under the water and I was kind of contemplating jumping in ’cause the mom, you could see she was panicking but she didn’t go under. I thought the mom would go down right away but she didn’t … It all happened so fast but then it popped back up.”
In the video, the cub then climbs onto the back of the mother, who can be seen swimming towards the other cub.
According to Csintalan, who lives nearby, Pitt Lake does have a bit of a current, which may have caught the cub who appeared to be drifting away.
When the mother eventually reaches the cub, they begin swimming towards the dock before climbing back on land.
Later in the video, the bears try to figure out a way off the dock and eventually get back on land and walk into the nearby grass.
Csintalan said he’s been spending time outdoors since he was a kid and had “tons and tons” of bear encounters, but the incident was an experience he hadn’t had before.
“I never had one that was that heart-stopping,” he said.