Boy lost in woods for three days says a bear looked after him

Are you… you can’t be serious

While I’m sceptical about so cute a story, it isn’t completely absurd. It’s not like a bear would perceive a toddler as a threat. And most bears don’t actually go about killing mammals that size to eat (most bears that would be inhabiting the American South leastaways).

Maybe the bear just put up with the toddler snuggling against it because, why not?


That’s exactly how Davy Crockett killed him a bear when he was only three.


There is precedence for other animals helping human beings across a range of ages so i do believe the story on a fundamental level, but still sounds quite unbelievable considering the kind of vicious reputation bears have. Regardless i’m definitely very happy the kid’s alright :slight_smile:


The interviewers misunderstood the kid. He didn’t say “I was helped by a friend bear,” he said “I was helped by a bare friend” . Shudder.


A mostly undeserved vicious reputation, that. Grizzlies and polar bears can be mean bastards but most other species, including the black bears that are the type one is likely to encounter in the area in question.


Likely true that its undeserved, but i’d still be wary of interacting with most wild animals regardless of their temperament. Still this is a hell of a story, that would be a sight to see a kiddo cuddled up to a bear.


It’s a lot easier to tell when a child lies. “Experts” and “Knowledgeable persons” are much better at crafting believable stories and shading nuance to their preferred narrative.


It’s good to have a friend in the woods.


Weirder things have happened, and most cases of cross species “adoption” of humans is generally from females that have recently lost a pup/cub/whatever. Hormones are a hell of a drug, and a non-hungry mamma bear feeling maternal…

I’m not going to out and out say “oh yeah, it’s true”, but I also couldn’t completely rule out the possibility.


I only meant that some people will take a traumatized, dehydrated, and frostbitten three-year-old’s word at immediate face value, and repeat the story as proven history for the rest of their lives, as long as it’s a cutie story. At the same time some of the same people will refuse to entertain a majority of climate scientists’ explanation of climate change, or a POC’s personal experience with racism.

I’m all for skepticism. I’m not saying it’s completely and utterly impossible. It’s just interesting to see the situations where people throw it out the window, and where they don’t.


Not to question the little fella’s veracity, but this reminds me a lot of when my younger brother would go out to play in a nearby field all day and come back with stories about a giant turtle who played with him.


Your younger brother
took a ride on him!


I will say what I wish my father had said to me. I’m so happy you’re dating a bear.


Let’s just say there are far, far more stories of rescued hikers who have started hallucinating when they become sufficiently dehydrated, than any solidly confirmed stories of wild bears adopting humans.

Personally I think the lesson is, respect the great outdoors, stick together, and getting lost in the woods is no joke. It’s more important that people get some education about the known physical consequences of prolonged exposure, than to take a very bad lesson that a magic bear might save them if they get into trouble.

But at the end of the day, maybe the guy who found him said it best:

"I don’t know if that meant he saw a bear. I don’t know if that meant a bear embraced him or what it meant,” said Hughes. "I thought it was a very cute story and if that’s what helped that child survive through this, you know what, I’m to going to embrace that story that came from a 3-year-old to his mom, to us.”


Mushrooms grew
in that field.
The one with the turtle.


If the bear had cubs it’s more likely the bear fed him!


With temperatures below freezing at night in coastal North Carolina, a black bear would be hibernating or at least running on VERY low metabolism. A kid could snuggle up to a bear in a den without eliciting even a growl.


With or without a bear, it’s pretty amazing that a kid could survive in those elements for that long. Incredible outcome.


Could’ve been a stray football player from Chicago. Or a large hairy lumberjack.

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