Here’s the story of how she came to be there:
Steve and I took a day off after our wedding this August, to relax and go hiking in Kananaskis. This is where we saw the bear. She was a young black bear, likely a teenager, and she was sprinting across the highway just in front of us.
“No no no no no!“, I cried, but of course bears don’t listen to humans, (and probably shouldn’t, anyway). A semi-trailer in front of us caught the bear on the chin, and she somersaulted under the truck and rolled to a stop in front of our car.
Steve and I were both distraught. He rolled down the window and talked to the bear, saying nice and comforting things. “You’ve been a good bear, you did all the right bear things in your life,” he soothed, “it’s going to be okay.” He would have got out and hugged that bear if I didn’t stop him.
The poor bear of course, was not okay. She was put down by the RCMP officer who arrived 5 minutes later. We said a prayer for her.
Then I asked to keep the bear.
I didn’t know what I intended to do with the bear. It’s a 250 pound wild bear! I’m not a hunter or a butcher. I don’t know what made me ask, I just know I had watched a bear’s life wasted, and I felt it would be a bigger waste to do nothing.
I filled out some paperwork and a few weeks later, I was headed to Canmore to pick up my bear, who was waiting for me in the freezer at Fish and Wildlife.