3-year-old boy kept alive by wild bear in freezing rain

On January 22, 2019, 3-year-old Casey Hathaway vanished from outside his grandmother’s house in North Carolina.

Casey Hathaway


FBI and U.S. Marines professional search teams joined up with volunteers to search for the boy, who weighs only 25 lbs., in the forest near grandma’s house.

Yahoo reports that after two days of heavy rain and freezing temperatures, a neighbor out walking her dog heard a loud cry coming  from the bushes about 40 yards from the road. There, little Casey was found crying and tangled in thorn bushes.

He was rushed to the hospital in surprisingly good condition, apart from a few scrapes and bruises, where he later told his family that it was a bear who had kept him safe for the past two days, according to a GoFundMe page set up by the toddler’s grandmother at “the public’s request.”

The page says: “He told us that his best friend the bear was with him to help keep him safe. Thanks to God’s mercy he came home to us alive and well.”

While the family admits they’re not sure how accurate Casey’s version of events are, it is not the first time that wild animals have kept missing children safe:

  • In 1888, the New York Times reported the disappearance of a 2-year-old girl who was found in a deep valley, where she claimed she had slept by a bear that kept her warm that night.
  • In 1955, 2-year-old Ida Mae Curtis went missing in Kootenai National Forest in Montana. She was located after enduring two days of pouring rain, and explained that she had been cuddled and comforted by a bear during her time away.
  • In December 2018, wild elks used their body heat to save a boy from hypothermia.
  • The video below chronicles other cases: Gorillas saved boys who fell into the gorilla compound in zoos; a lioness saved a zookeeper; and an elephant saved an elephant nature park staffer from drowning:

H/t Kelleigh


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1 year ago

In the eyes of a child the big bear is an angel in disguise.

1 year ago

Amazing story. I was searching for good news about this little guy and I was so thrilled that he was found alive. Then to learn how he stayed alive- Divine intervention; so beautiful.

1 year ago

I really doubt they were Bears. Something else is at play here, something right out of our folklore, fairy tales, and modern day “conspiracy theories” (sarcasm) Current Events 1/25- Thank goodness Casey Hathaway has been found! A few things for people to think about. The sheriff told the press earlier in the week that he pulled searchers out of the woods because of inclement weather (freezing temperatures, rain and wind). There were 600 searchers on scene, all searches start close to the point last seen, the great grandmother’s house, he’s found 1/4 mile from the home and 40-50 yards from… Read more »