Tuesday, September 05, 2006

more Golden and Boo

One of the coolest points of the trip up Kicking Horse is that the gondola passes over a grizzly refuge that is home to BC's infamous Boo the Bear. I had never heard of Boo before, but even in the short time that we have lived here, we have heard several references to him on the radio. He is the subject of many controversial conversations in Alberta and BC, from what we gather. Here is Boo's bio:

Orphaned Grizzly Bear Cubs

Cari and Boo became orphans on June 4, 2002 when a man illegally shot and killed their mother off the side of Highway 26 outside of Wells near Quesnel, BC. The frightened cubs scrambled up a 50-foot-tree and would not budge. It took conservation officers a full day to retrieve them from their hiding spot.

The Grouse Mountain Refuge for Endangered Wildlife was contacted by the Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection to see if a permanent home could be provided for the two orphaned cubs. Grouse Mountain agreed and the baby bears were flown to Vancouver.

The cubs were named Cari and Boo after the region in which they were born. The bears can be differentiated by the colour of their fur. Cari's coat is slightly darker than Boo's.
At the time of their rescue near Quesnel, the cubs weighed about 12 pounds each. In late August 2002 when they moved into their habitat atop Grouse Mountain, they weighed approximately 90 pounds. As of June 2003, both cubs weighed approximately 225 pounds and are expected to reach an adult weight of 600-900 pounds.

Cari and Boo have moved to their permanent habitat at the Kicking Horse Mountain Grizzly Bear Refuge, the world's largest enclosed protected grizzly bear habitat.
The man who shot and killed their mother has been convicted of two B.C. Wildlife Act violations and fined $9000.

...sadly, Cari died in 2004 of an accidental spontaneous twist in his small intestine while in hibernation. Boo continues to live in the refuge and can sometimes be spotted by 'eagle eyes' riding the gondola above. Fortunately for Dana, Emily and I, Jake is the proud wearer of the 'Eagle Eye' title and he spotted Boo for us on our trip up on the mountain. The picture may not be clear, but it was still exciting for us!

We weren't nearly as lucky as Diane was. Her cousin who she went to visit in Golden, is married to one of two refuge staff whose entire job is to monitor and care for Boo. When Diane went to visit, she was brought right to the refuge (where only staff are allowed) and was able to take some amazing pictures:

Diane's view of Boo

On Top of the World!

You'll have to check out the link in this post's title to get more information on Kicking Horse Resort. At the top of the mountain, we enjoyed a delicious brunch in their Eagle's Eye Restaurant. You'll also find a weekly journal that charts Boo's activities and you can read about all the controversy that surrounds Boo.

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