As he was filtering his morning water, Yosemite backpacker Chas Davis became aware of an adolescent-sized black bear that had hopped into Falls Creek apparently attempting to get to the other side.
Davis, standing with two other backpackers to give strength in numbers since there was another bear nearby, began videotaping the swimming bear from a bridge located near Vernon Lake about a 10-mile hike from the Hetch Hetchy trailhead.
He certainly didn’t expect this to happen:
“Having crossed the same stream in a different spot the night before when the flow was lower, I’m impressed and amused knowing how cold and strong the current is,” Davis told ViralHog, which shared his comments with GrindTV.
“I of course assume the bear is fully aware of this too and knows what it is doing; [it’s] why I start laughing when I initially realize it’s fighting hard against the current. Obviously my amusement turns to nervous laughter as it starts getting drug toward me—still assuming it’s going to be strong enough to pull itself out but feeling better about my own shortcomings in the stream.”
That didn’t happen, of course. The bear got sucked down the waterfall and started bouncing around through the whitewater rapids.
“I don’t think that was supposed to happen,” Davis said in the video.
Davis stopped recording, “fearing the worst and feeling really guilty over laughing.”
But it had a happy ending, though you don’t see it in the video.
As far as he could see downstream, Davis spotted the bear getting out of the water on the opposite side of the river and it seemed to be OK.
The backpackers then left the bridge in hopes that the second bear would be smart enough to use it to get to the other side and rejoin his wet companion downstream.
Read more about bears on GrindTV