A hunting dog from Tennessee spent three days trapped in a pit cave in Sevier County with a bear and was rescued on Wednesday, October 11.
The Waldens Creek Volunteer Fire Department (WCVFD) shared a detailed report of the incident on the same day they rescued the dog, named Charlie.
According to WCVFD’s Facebook post, Charlie got trapped “approximately 40 feet deep down an extremely narrow cave shaft.”
They also shared that Charlie was wearing a tracking collar that helped them locate the pooch. “He started barking when he heard us calling for him,” they wrote in a comment.
Charlie got trapped in the cave for three days, “and for some of that time, shared it (unwillingly) with an approximately 2 year old, 200 pound bear,” WCVFD wrote.
A joint rescue team for Charlie was formed on the morning of October 10 in order to rescue the pooch.
The team that saved the pooch, called the joint Sevier County Technical Rope Rescue Team, consisted of different Rope Rescue Technicians from four local groups: the Waldens Creek Volunteer Fire Department, Sevier County Fire & Rescue, Sevier County Volunteer Rescue Squad, and the Catons Chapel/Richardsons Cove Volunteer Fire Department.
The team thought this would be a straightforward rescue, not until two firefighters from WCVFD discovered that Charlie had an unusual “roommate” inside the cave.
“Things took a turn when Firefighter Downing rounded a corner and found a bear sleeping five feet below the trapped hunting dog farther in the cave system,” WCVFD wrote.
The team was forced to exit the cave and put off the rescue mission after seeing the bear. However, trail cameras were set up to monitor the cave exit and see when the bear leaves.
The next day, on October 11, the team found that the bear left and hasn’t returned, giving everyone time to rescue Charlie.
The firefighters were said to have “entered the cave on a rope system and descended down and located the trapped Charlie. They fashioned a harness for the dog and effected the rescue.”
After getting rescued, Charlie was reportedly dehydrated and hungry, but was otherwise, in good condition.
Furthermore, Charlie was immediately reunited with his happy owner after getting rescued from the cave.