Stranded bear and deer plucked off Pictured Rocks by rescue team

A rescue team helped a bear stranded and starving at the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. Photo courtesy: Alger Co Sheriff's Office.

ALGER COUNTY, Mich. (WPBN/WGTU) -- An Upper Peninsula team decided to plan an out of the box rescue when they heard of a bear stranded and starving at the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.

According to Undersheriff Steve Blank with the Alger County Sheriff's Office, the bear was first noticed by tourists aboard a Pictured Rocks cruise. The parks service was going to let nature takes its course, but Undersheriff Blank wanted to try a rescue since the department has a boat on standby. Blank contacted the Department of Natural Resources to find out if they would help.

According to the DNR report, the 125-pound bear is believed to have been stranded along the outcropping of rocks for about two weeks.

DNR Conservation Officer Mark Zitnik joined Undersheriff Blank on the rescue mission May 29. After locating the young adult bear, Zitnik got out o f the patrol boat and was able to attach a catch pole to the bear.

Zitnik was then able to get the bear to swim alongside the boat for nearly half a mile until they reached shore.

The bear rested for a bit according to Undersheriff Blank and ran off soon after.

Just a couple of weeks later a deer was in the same precarious position.

On June 14, Undersheriff Blank received a call about a young buck stuck among the rocks. The team tried the same maneuver with success.

“The buck got too close to the end and couldn’t go anywhere. They automatically try and go back up and they get exhausted. We were able to do the same rescue we did for the bear. The deer got to shore, ran off, it was great,” explained Undersheriff Blank

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