One mom in California brought joy to thousands of viewers just before Mother’s Day this year with her feel-good story. On May 3, the South Lake Tahoe Fire Fighters Association was called to Tahoe Keys Marina in response to three distressed bear cubs who had been separated from their mother and were stranded in the marina.

But the adult bear decided she couldn’t wait for someone else to save her children. By the time firefighters arrived on the scene, she was mid-rescue, having already saved two of the cubs. In a video released by the fire department, the mother bear leaps into the water and swims to the third cub, who appears to be stranded on or near a pier. In a daring act of rescue, she then encourages the youngster to jump into the water and, cub on her back, she swims to shore and to safety.

“The mother bear was determined to save all three of her cubs herself and ensure that they see tomorrow by continually swimming each one to safety,” said the association via Facebook.