Standing side by side, tall and strong Lucca, Juan and her marine squad have led about 400 patrols together in Iraq and Afghanistan, and safely completed them. Because of her bravery she earned a Purple Heart. On March 23, 2013 Lucca would go on her final mission.
Lucca and her Purple Heart
Lucca had stayed at the units medical center until she recovered. After six years in the Marine Corps Lucca was medically retired. Going on a plane to Southern California she is being reunited back to her original handler and is enjoying the retirement life.
On her way to Southern California
A male black bear named Baloo was wandering around a residential area near Alligator Point. The bear at 375 pounds and six feet tall, was roaming by houses, roads, and backyards.
All Baloo wanted was to find some food to eat, so he mostly went through trash cans and dumpsters.
Baloo is eating food from a garbage bag.
Adam Warwick and the Bear Baloo
Wildlife Officers were getting complaints about Baloo. They made a plan and decided to shoot Baloo with a tranquilizer dart and bring him back home to Osceola National Forest, Florida.
The Officers found Baloo in a backyard near the Gulf of Mexico. They shot Baloo but the dart took longer than it should have. Baloo bolted into the water.
He managed to swim at least 25 yards into the water before the dart took effect. Adam Warwick, FWC biologist was nearby and saw the bear. He took off his shoes and shirt and dove into the water.
Running towards the Gulf of Mexico.
Adam’s goal was to at least get in front of the bear, and splash water at him to try to get the bear to change direction, but that didn’t work.
Baloo hadn’t lost control over his legs yet and managed to stand up on his hind legs. He looked down at Adam as if he were a flotation device, but then fell backwards. The bear now had no control over his legs and was trying to keep his head above the water with only his arms. Adam knew he would have to pick up the bear. He grabbed the back of the bear's neck and back. Adam was struggling to keep the bear above the water but found some concrete blocks crusted with barnacles to step on in the deep water.
Trying to get infront of Baloo.
Adam finally got to the shore. From there on the bear was pushed onto a tractor truck by some other men on the team.
Luckily Adam only got a scratch from the bear and some cuts on his feet from a couple barnacles but otherwise he was uninjured.
Adam had told the men that the buoyancy of the water had made the job so much easier and that he would not have finished the job without them.
Using a tractor truck to pick up Baloo.
Now it was time to bring Baloo back to his home in Osceola National Forest, Florida. When Baloo got back to the sanctuary he was happy to be home playing and wrestling and even swimming with his friends.
On their way to Osceola National Forest.
Agee is happy with Mark and Dawn.
There bond kept getting stronger. It was a problem. Whenever Mark was playing with Agee and someone needed to talk to him Mark would have to take his attention off of Agee. She didn’t like that at all. Mark sometimes had Agee play with the dog in the house to try to distract her.
Whenever Mark or Dawn (Mark’s wife) came to play Agee would make a sound called a nunu. A nunu was like a purring sound (like a cat). Agee would nunu whenever she was happy to be around Mark or Dawn.
Soon Agee started to wrestle Mark. One afternoon Mark and Agee were wrestling and Agee put her mouth around Mark’s neck. Mark didn’t want to move his head because he knew Agee wouldn’t let go.
Every night Agee would sleep with Mark. She would snuggle up right next to Mark's neck and fall asleep. But, every animal gets older. Agee started to get bigger and bigger until she was bigger than Mark.
Putting her mouth around Mark's neck.
Pictures of Osceola National Forest.