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To the Rescue: A Bear of a Time

Collaboration and a big net help get a stranded ursine safely to the ground

It’s hard to imagine anything could top the fabulous views from Rainbow Bridge in northern California’s Lake Tahoe region—unless it’s the view of a 250-pound black bear dangling from the bridge’s concrete girders.

That ’s the scene Andy Kay, his girlfriend, Marley Petersen, and their friend Kristopher Harris stumbled across while sightseeing one Saturday last fall, spurring the trio to launch a rescue operation that has since made news worldwide.

At first, Kay—an animal lover who works with the big cat rescue group Save Our Spots—thought the bear was trying to feast on swallows’ nests in the bridge’s girders. And he figured if she’d gotten herself there, she could get herself out. (It’s now believed the bear was crossing the bridge, got spooked by traffic, and leapt over the side for safety.)

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