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Rescuers descended right into a deep cave to rescue a trapped canine — then they discovered a bear | CNN

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CNN
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Firefighters encountered an surprising problem whereas rescuing a canine trapped in a Tennessee cave: A black bear was additionally there.

The canine, Charlie, spent three days trapped practically 40 ft deep in an “extraordinarily slim cave shaft” on English Mountain in jap Tennessee, in keeping with a Fb put up from the Waldens Creek Volunteer Fireplace Division.

A rescue group consisting of “rope rescue technicians” from a number of hearth departments set off on the mission to free Charlie on Tuesday, the Fb put up says. The group hiked to the mouth of the cave, the place firefighter Tori Downing and captain Jon Lanier descended into the cave.

“Issues took a flip when Firefighter Downing rounded a nook and located a bear sleeping 5 ft under her and the trapped searching canine farther within the cave system,” reads the Fb put up.

Charlie’s unwitting companion was a 2-year-old black bear weighing an estimated 200 kilos, in keeping with the Waldens Creek Volunteer Fireplace Division.

The rescue group left the cave and arrange path cameras to trace when the bear left the cave, the Fb put up says.

On Wednesday, they decided that the bear “had left the cave and never returned.”

With the cave “bear-free,” the stage was set for Charlie’s rescue. Three firefighters descended into the cave on a rope system. However initially, it appeared they’d nonetheless be unable to retrieve the trapped canine.

“At first, we truly thought the canine had slipped additional into the cave the place we couldn’t entry,” Lanier mentioned, in keeping with CNN affiliate WVLT. “It was kinda unhappy as a result of we felt like we have been gonna have to go away the canine there.”

“As we’re about to move again out, I appeared again yet one more time and I noticed his antenna from his tracker collar,” one other firefighter, Christian Ellard, mentioned, in keeping with WVLT.

Charlie was “dehydrated and hungry, however in in any other case good situation,” says the Waldens Creek Volunteer Fireplace Division.

The rescue group “common a harness for the canine and effected the rescue,” the division defined. “Charlie was rapidly reunited along with his glad proprietor.”

The division included a photograph of a volunteer rising from the slim cave mouth with Charlie in his arms and a shot of the rescued pup with 4 members of the rescue group.

“It was positively a sigh of aid for everyone on scene,” mentioned Andrew Wojturski, a firefighter with Sevier County Fireplace & Rescue, in keeping with WVLT. “After which as soon as we lastly obtained him out and the proprietor got here up afterwards and shook our arms and thanked us, it was actually rewarding.”

Of their Fb put up, the Waldens Creek Volunteer Fireplace Division thanked “your entire rescue group and individuals who labored collectively to make this occur.”

“It was really a group effort that required all these departments to make it successful,” they mentioned.

English Mountain is close to Tennessee’s Nice Smoky Mountains Nationwide Park, described by the Nationwide Park Service as “one of many largest protected areas within the jap United States the place black bears can reside in wild, pure environment.” An estimated 1,900 bears reside within the park.

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