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Jumping In

August 15, 2016

An amazing story, Ronnie! Powerful perspective

Ronnie McBrayer

WarwickI have a photo on the hard drive of my MacBook taken June 30, 2008, near Apalachicola, Florida. It is a picture of Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission biologist Adam Warwick, and his swimming partner: A 375-pound male black bear. Yes, there are bears in Florida (as if poisonous snakes, alligators, and disease-bearing mosquitos were not enough of a threat).

The bear had been wandering the local neighborhoods, eating out of garbage cans, and terrifying little old ladies, small children, and tourists. So the Wildlife Commission showed up with their dart guns to relocate this beautiful creature where both he and humans would enjoy greater safety.

But before the tranquilizer could take effect, the bear jumped into Alligator Bay with every intention, it appears, to swim to the barrier islands where he would be unbothered by dart guns and meddling biologists. Twenty-five yards from shore, however, the drugs hit the…

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