I can remember pulling over to the side of the road that leads from Quesnel, British Columbia, to the tiny mountain town of Wells and the Barkerville historic goldrush town. Suddenly we saw a grizzly and her three cubs. We sat quietly for a while, watching the little ones tumble, the mother forage. Then we drove on.
We were devastated, a few days later, to hear that some hunter had killed the sow, leaving three little orphan cubs on their own. Conservations needed a full day to bring the frightened babies down from the tree where they were hiding.
Two survived and were taken to the Grouse Mountain Refuge for Endangered Wildlife. Because they had been scooped up in a region called Cariboo, they were named Cari and Boo.
That was 2002. The next summer they were taken to Kicking Horse Grizzly Refuge. Cari had a twisted intestine and died in hibernation in spring 2004.
In 2006 Boo answered the call of the wild and escaped his enclosure. He was brought back. This year the urge to mate lured him outside again, though he was neutered after his first escape.
To be honest, I was saddened when he returned “home” and was once again penned. Grizzlies belong in the wild. Rescuing him clearly saved the cub’s life, but shouldn’t he have been freed at some point?
I hope the little guys in the video below spend the rest of their lives roaming free.