With the cub drifting away downstream, his death seemingly imminent, Barkley leapt into action.
“I saw his head go down underwater, and that’s when I made the instinctive decision to run after the bear,” he said. “My mind was so solely thinking of getting to that bear as fast as I could that I didn’t think about the risks.”
Barkley traversed the slippery rocks at the riverside and jumped into the freezing water — swimming toward the cub before it was too late.
“I got to him pretty quickly, and immediately grabbed the bear by the scruff on the back of his neck,” Barkley said.
He then hauled the cub to shore.