ROTHENBURGER: The story of a bear named Little John and his long journey to safety
THE HEAVY METAL CRATE, about the size of an average dog kennel, was dark inside but squeezed against the back of it was a precious cargo.
The special-express package was on a 16-hour, 1,300-km journey from the Kootenays to Smithers, and my daughter Kelly and I were the couriers for part it.
When Kelly offered a small piece of apple through the bars of the crate, our passenger, a skinny yearling black bear, ventured forward and greedily but gently accepted the offering, then another.
We’d been advised to be careful with this little fellow because he is, after all, wild, and he was frightened. His long, sharp claws were evidence of the need for caution.
We were also told to feed him only a very little at a time, as his stomach wasn’t used to a lot of food after he emerged too early from hibernation due to malnourishment. Hence, only a couple of small bites.
The object was to cause him as little stress as possible and keep him comfortable on his bed of straw, with plenty of water and occasional snacks.
Mel Rothenburger is a regular contributor to CFJC Today, publishes the ArmchairMayor.ca opinion website, and is a recipient of the Jack Webster Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award. He has served as mayor of Kamloops, school board chair and TNRD director, and is a retired newspaper editor. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Leave a Reply