My apologies for this story getting to you so late. Apparently the mice running this blog did not realize that there is a difference between black bears (me) and grizzly bears (my subjects). It was a lot more complicated than they thought. (Ed. Note: All bears look the same to us: big, furry, sharp teeth, long claws. How would we know that grizzlies have been known to kill and eat black bears? We are sending Bosco to two apple festivals to make up for it.)
Coeur d’Alene, ID – When I left Bonners Ferry, I didn’t really have a plan. All I knew was that the grizzlies had headed to Canada, and I don’t speak grizzly. So I headed north.
I had just passed into British Columbia when I saw a family of grizzlies by a river. They didn’t look too intimidating, so I took a chance. As it turned out, they were up from Idaho visiting family, and the children knew a little of my dialect from school friends. They explained to their father who I was and why I was there. He seemed a little suspicious and smelled my entire body.
Once he were convinced that I had no human scent, the father invited me to sit with them. Through the children he told me that his brother had said something about some American escapees, but he really didn’t know anything. He pointed me in the direction of the nearest Inter-Bear Information System (IBIS) station and told me where I could find some berries.
Ibis Communications Network (Google Images)
I walked up to the IBIS station and was relieved to find it staffed by a combination of grizzlies and black bears. When I told them who I was, they needed to smell me again. (I thought Canadian bears were kind and trusting. Maybe these are transplants from the U.S.)
Once they were satisfied that I wasn’t sent by the human authorities, they told me what they knew about Brutus, Julius, and Marc Antony.
Brutus had received an urgent message from his family via IBIS. They didn’t say what was wrong, but that he needed to be there as soon as possible. Marc Antony is from the same group so he wanted to go home too. Julius is not related but saw an opportunity to go home. He separated from them as soon as they knew they were safe.
I asked if they could let me know how to get in touch with Brutus. They really didn’t want to, citing the privacy policies of IBIS. They finally relented when I told them that the other animals were concerned about his safety. They sent me out with a guide named Beowulf. I’m not sure if being with Beowulf made me feel any safer. A couple of times I think he was sizing me up for dinner.
We finally made it to Brutus’ family. They were surprisingly friendly (and they didn’t have to smell me). They pointed out Brutus to me. He looked relaxed and happy. He was sitting with a female and laughing. When he heard who I was, he motioned me over.
I asked him if everything was all right with his family. He told me that the family was fine but that a strange bear was trying to take over with his lady friend. He made it home in time to convince the other bear that it was time to move along.
So there’s the answer. Brutus wasn’t planning a rampage, he just wanted to save his girl from the clutches of a strange bear. It’s really kind of romantic.
I made it back to the border with Beowulf. He apologized for scaring me. He said he usually did his “bear act” for the tourists, but was bored when he met me. He’s actually a very refined, well-educated bear. We promised to keep in touch via IBIS.
(Aside from Snoops: I am so proud of the alpha male human. He came home from work and told us that he had caught a mouse. Finally. Of course, he didn’t bring it home or have pictures. Hmmm.)