3-year-old boy lost in freezing forest for two days says bear kept him safe

A missing 3-year-old boy who was found alive after enduring two days of heavy rain and freezing temperatures says it was a bear who kept him safe and warm.

Authorities from the FBI and U.S. Marines professional search teams joined up with volunteers to search for Casey Hathaway when he vanished from outside his grandmother’s house in North Carolina on Tuesday afternoon.

As his distressed family waited for updates, one of their neighbors out walking her dog heard a loud cry come from the bushes. About 40 yards from the road, Casey was found crying and tangled in thorn bushes.

He was rushed to the hospital in surprisingly good condition, 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.”

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

A desperate search was launched to try and relocate the missing 3-year-old. (Image: AP)
A desperate search was launched to try and relocate the missing 3-year-old. (Image: AP)

Apart from a few scrapes and bruises, the brave youngster is in good condition, doctors say. He devoured some Cheetos and chicken nuggets while watching his favorite show, Paw Patrol. While the family admits they’re not sure how accurate Casey’s version of events are, it is not the first time such a tale has made headlines

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.

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