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Dog Rescue From Tennessee Cave Bear: Three Days of Anxiety

By Orgesta Tolaj


20 October 2023

Dog rescue Tennessee cave bear

© Waldens Creek Volunteer Fire Department

How brave are you? This dog stayed inside a cave for three days. If you think that’s bad so far, what if we told you he actually had to stay in there with a bear? A hunting dog called Charlie got stuck in a really tight cave hole that was about 40 feet deep in Sevier County. Not only that but the dog was also trapped in the cave with a bear. The Waldens Creek Volunteer Fire Department came to help and managed to fulfill the dog rescue from a Tennessee cave bear. Here’s a breakdown of the full story.

The News of the Dog Rescue From Tennessee Cave Bear

The Waldens Creek Volunteer Fire Department described the rescue, which involved multiple local organizations, in a Facebook post. In Waldens Creek, near Knoxville, firefighters were called to rescue a missing dog named Charlie. The dog was stuck 40 feet down a narrow cave shaft on October 10. During the rescue, a firefighter encountered a sleeping bear just five feet below the dog, making the situation more complex. The rescue team decided to use a camera and wait for the bear to leave. In the meantime, the dog was trapped in the cave with the bear.

The department said: “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.”

The bear left the cave the next day, enabling the rescue to continue. Responders used a rope system to reach Charlie, secured him with a harness, and successfully brought him out of the cave. Charlie was joyfully reunited with his owner afterward. A video showed the heartwarming moment when he was cheered on as he emerged from the cave. You can even hear someone calling out: “Good boy!”.

Charlie’s Condition

Miraculously, Charlie emerged from his cave ordeal unscathed, despite having an unwelcome roommate in the form of a 200-pound, approximately 2-year-old bear for three days. The dog did experience some dehydration and hunger, but otherwise, he was found to be in good condition, according to the fire department. This incredible survival story showcased Charlie’s resilience and the successful efforts of the rescue team. In total, the dog was trapped in a cave with the bear for three days. The department informed:

“All told, Charlie was trapped in the cave for three days and for some of that time, shared it with an approximately 2-year-old, 200-pound bear. He was dehydrated and hungry but in otherwise good condition.”

Dog rescue Tennessee cave bear

The rescue mission involved a collaborative effort among several organizations, including the WCVFD, Sevier County Fire & Rescue, Sevier County Volunteer Rescue Squad, and Catons Chapel-Richardson Cove Volunteer Fire Department.

Not the First Rodeo Ride for the Volunteer Fire Department

The rescue post also disclosed the team’s previous experience in similar operations. In a previous incident, they had come together to rescue another hunting dog named Storm from a deep cave located on nearby English Mountain. This demonstrated the team’s expertise and dedication in handling challenging situations like these.

What would you do in this situation? Do you think you would have been able to help the dog out?

You might also want to read: Real Sun Bear or Animal Impersonation?

Orgesta Tolaj

Your favorite introvert who is buzzing around the Hive like a busy bee!