Had a good sleep but woke up early and also slept with my head on water pillows…never even heard of them but they were quite comfortable….Marie my hostess made a wonderful cooked breakfast and gave me some goodies for the road and I left at 9am……
before I left town I wanted to visit Boo the bear…
This article below seems accurate the only thing the tour leader told us was that Boo twice tried to escape on June 4th two years in a row and that date is significant because it was the day his mother was shot and killed…
It was a wonderful enlightening tour…..meet Boo
I think on hearing the commentary that Boo is fortunate to be alive and that he is watched over….
GOLDEN, B.C. — For three days in 2010, Boo the bear stayed in the same spot.
He didn’t walk around his 10-hectare enclosure, didn’t go for a swim in one of his many watering holes and didn’t eat any bright yellow dandelions — some of his usual daily activities at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort.
“He wasn’t moving from that area,” recalls Ross Prather, manager of the grizzly bear refuge, during a recent tour. “The next day, he wasn’t moving from that area all day. What’s up? Is Boo sick?”
Boo, who’s now 11 and weighs about 275 kilograms, doesn’t normally sit still for extended periods. In fact, he’s usually quite active — even escaping during mating season several times since he arrived at the refuge.
He arrived in July 2003 — exactly a decade ago — after his mother was shot by a poacher.
“He’s a rescue, a humanitarian effort,” says Steve Paccagnan, president and chief executive at Kicking Horse, which built the enclosure to provide a home for Boo and his now-deceased brother, Cari, so named after the Cariboo Mountains where they were found as orphaned cubs.
It’s considered an education, conservation and research facility — giving staff an opportunity to observe the behaviour and life skill development of a grizzly bear as it grows in a natural setting.
They say the cubs would have died left alone in the wild, but some suggest they don’t like to see any animal behind a fence.
“I hate zoos,” says Charlie Russell, a renowned expert who studied bears in Russia for a decade and has since visited Boo at Kicking Horse. “I just don’t like bears in cages.
“That’s probably as nice a cage as possible.”
Indeed, the enclosure — the largest of any known grizzly bear refuge — provides opportunities for Boo to explore different habitats and forage for food.
In the 2010 case, Boo showed his wild side.
“We had a group up here and we were watching him,” says Prather. “All of a sudden he was digging and what do we see but four moose legs.”
Resort staff immediately thought there was a moose-sized hole in the wire fence around Boo’s enclosure. There wasn’t, but the scuff marks on the outside of the electric fence led staff to believe a moose crashed through it trying to avoid being caught by a cougar or a wolf. The fence snapped back into place.
Little did the moose know that another predator was waiting on the other side.
Prather says the moose was likely injured crashing through the fence, and Boo managed to track it down.
“We believe the hunting instinct is that, it’s instinctive, they are born with it,” he says, noting that seeking out other food appears to be a learned behaviour.
Through trial and error, Boo learned which plants he should and shouldn’t eat by foraging in his enclosure.
It’s not enough to sustain him, though, and staff do add to his weekly diet.
“We use the term supplement rather than feeding because we don’t want to feed him,” Prather explains. “We don’t want him to come to think of us as a source of food and start relying on us.
“So we are always doing it in a different location and different times of the day.”
Sometimes food even falls from the sky.
“When the gondola is running during the regular season, we sometimes drop supplements out of the gondola so it’s in the centre of his habitat as well, rather than just on the perimeter,” says Prather, noting it’s usually a roadkill deer scooped up off the highway or a salmon from the nearby fish hatchery.
He also gets lettuce, carrots and yams.
“A high percentage of his supplements are fruits and veggies to match the fact that in the wild, a grizzly bear’s diet is 80 per cent fruits and veggies and only 20 per cent protein,” he says. “The protein component he gets in the habitat are mice and ground squirrels and grouse. I’ve seen him bat grouse out of the air if they fly too close to him.
“And even smaller things — ants and other insects. He’ll rip apart logs to get at those.”
Dr. Ken Macquisten, a veterinarian who checks on Boo regularly, says he’s a healthy bear living a good life.
“The only thing he suffers from is loneliness from time to time,” says Macquisten, pointing to his escapes from the enclosure during mating season as evidence.
Since he came to the enclosure, Boo has escaped several times in two different years.
In June 2006, he tunnelled beneath an electric fence. A grizzly was returned to the enclosure, but resort officials said at the time that they never confirmed it was Boo.
Eighteen days later, the grizzly in the enclosure broke out — this time smashing his way through a steel door, two electric fences and a 3.6-metre fence reinforced with 60 centimetres of steel sheet beneath the ground.
Boo then came back on his own in early July.
He also escaped twice in 2011 when, despite being neutered, it’s believed he caught the scent of a female grizzly.
Escapes aside, Macquisten says the size of his enclosure gives him every chance at a natural life.
“The area includes waterfalls and creeks and ponds and sloughs and forests and hills,” he says. “It’s got all kinds of natural forest — I don’t think he ever runs out of things to do there.”
Macquisten says the entire team has taken a hands-off approach to Boo’s care.
As a result, officials say they’ve learned a lot about grizzly bears by studying Boo — including whether it’s possible to take an orphaned grizzly bear cub and help it develop enough survival skills so it could eventually be released into the wild.
“We believe, yes, they can because we’ve seen Boo develop a lot of skill,” says Prather, while noting it’s too late for Boo to go back into the wild because he’s too habituated by being exposed to humans too often.
Instead, the facility focuses on using Boo to educate the public about grizzly bears through its interpretive tours.
“A lot of people arrive here and they have no idea what a grizzly bear refuge is all about,” says Prather, noting they often ask whether it’s a zoo. “They come up and they have the opportunity to view a grizzly bear that is much closer to being a wild bear than a zoo bear.
“It’s an opportunity for people to view a wild grizzly bear going about his routine just like a wild bear would, but closely and safely.”
Then it was on the road for the 4 hour drive to Kelowna with a few stops on the way for these…
I am beginning to like reflection photographs!!!
and for good measure a waterfall!!
It was a lovely hot sunny afternoon and I had to find a way to cool down as I was driving!!!!
I arrived in
just as Gail and Larry were leaving to have dinner with friends….so I was forced to stay home, shower, watch a soccer game on the big screen and then really forced to eat a slice of fresh home made lemon meringue pie that Gail baked this afternoon…I know it is a rough life!!!!
So tomorrow I return to the island and reflect on this almost 3 week journey…as always I feel so blessed and fortunate to be doing this….
Happy weekend to all my readers!!!
I enjoyed this article!!
LONDON — She has lived longer than any of her predecessors, seen 11 prime ministers come and go and presided over six decades of our history.
Now Queen Elizabeth II is Canada's longest reigning monarch. As of today, the record set by her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria -- 63 years and 7 months -- more than a century ago. Only four other kings and queens have reigned 50 years or more.
"You have to be a certain age to remember a time when she wasn't the Queen," said royal historian and commentator Hugo Vickers.
The only monarch most living Canadians have ever known, Queen Elizabeth has been the country's figurehead since she came to the throne as a young woman aged 25.
Much has changed since then. When she married Prince Philip in 1947, Britain was still in the grips of post-World War II austerity -- the couple's wedding cake had to be made from ingredients sent as wedding presents from abroad. In 1953, when she was crowned in Westminster Abbey, television was a novelty. Despite her popularity throughout the Commonwealth, the once-mighty British Empire dwindled during the course of her reign.
Queen Elizabeth continues to carry out public engagements and travel at age 89.
While Elizabeth is instantly recognizable and held in endearing regard by her subjects, her personality and views remain an enigma to most. As constitutional monarch she must keep mum on political affairs, and only rarely does she let her thoughts be known.
Some argue that reticence and neutrality form part of her appeal.
"She is above politics and when you have a change of government that's quite reassuring to know," Vickers said.
No fanfare is planned today. Officials say the Queen wants the occasion to be a low-key affair, and that the day will be "business as usual." Elizabeth is expected to be staying in her Scottish home, Balmoral Castle, and will take a steam train journey from Edinburgh with Prince Philip to open the new Borders Railway.