GOLDEN (NEWS 1130) — After being orphaned when his mother was killed a decade ago, Boo the bear was not expected to live as long as he has. Now, at 19, the cub is one of the latest TikTok stars with his feeding process going viral.
A video shared to the popular social media app shows a staff member at the Kicking Horse Mountain Resort throwing food down to the grizzly, who eats a complicated diet of nuts, fruits, and meat.
@kickinghorsemtn*We are not feeding a wild animal* Boo the bear is a rescue bear living in our 20 acre enclosed bear refuge! #grizzlybear #bc #canada original sound – Kicking Horse Mountain Resort
In 2002, the resort took Boo and his brother bear, Cari, after they were born in the wild and orphaned when their mother was tragically shot and killed by a poacher that year.
“Cari and Boo were named for British Columbia’s Cariboo Mountains where they were born.
“The Kicking Horse Grizzly Bear Refuge was built specifically for the orphaned cubs. Observing their behaviour and life skill development has provided a unique opportunity for grizzly bear research,” reads the website.
Grizzly cubs usually spend the first four years of their life with their mother. When the cubs’ mother died, they were only five months old, at risk of being euthanized or dying alone.
“Sadly, Cari never awoke from his first winter dormancy and passed away within the den,” the website reads.
However, “Boo demonstrated great resilience by overcoming the loss of both his mother and brother.”
The resort is the largest enclosed grizzly bear habitat in the world. An electric fence surrounds Boo’s space with metal plates in the ground to keep him from digging out, which he did do in search of lady grizzlies during mating season in 2006.
For nearly two decades, folks at Kicking Horse have been observing Boo and they’re happy to say he is evidence that an orphaned grizzly cub can learn and thrive on its own if given a safe, healthy place to live.
The rest of Boo’s life will be spent at Kicking Horse, where “he serves a vital role that [staff] hope will benefit future orphaned grizzly bear cubs.”
“We continue to learn from Boo, while at the same time allowing him to live the best captive life possible,” the website reads.
Ever wondered what the inside of a Grizzly bear den looks like? (Swipe right to find out!)
During a recent survey taken in Boo’s enclosure, we had the opportunity to take a quick peek inside the natural den he made. pic.twitter.com/dKAvceS6Qy
— Kicking Horse Mountain Resort (@KickingHorseMtn) August 3, 2021
In the fall, Boo will prepare his den by collecting bedding like grasses, leaves, and fireweed from the nearby areas and will slumber in a den dug into the roots of an old Spruce stump 10 feet into the earth.
“He will roll the bedding up into large tufts, and then proceed to roll it backwards into his den entrance, setting it up in his bedding area. This will add additional warmth and comfort throughout the winter season,” reads a blog post on the Kicking Horse website.
No one taught Boo to do this; he simply acts on instinct. And as an orphan, he had no other choice but to learn independently.
“He is an inspiration for everyone who comes to see him and he is an outstanding ambassador for this magnificent species,” the resort site reads.
Want to meet Boo? You’ll have to wait until summer 2022. In the meantime, check out Kicking Horse Resort online for more information.