We left me sitting at a tea house, up a mountain, communing with a chipmunk, blissful in the fresh air. I like a good walk, I like tea even more and the day was only half done.
‘Maybe,’ said Anika, our guide, ‘we might see a bear on the way down.’
Oh goody, methought. One for the bucket list. I get to see a bear, he gets to eat me. A fair swap, perhaps. On the way down, I feel into step with a group of thirty somethings from California and we became philosophical on the subject. Why, we pondered, did bears live so far north? Had they ventured a little further south they’d not need to hibernate, with all the hassle that entailed. They were top predator so it was hardly to get away from being eaten. Maybe they had problems with their families, or they owed some local mammalian mafia?
Perhaps it was wish fulfilment but Anika took us on a detour on our way back to Banff and the collection of our hopefully repaired car, because having left the highway, we saw this…
We were beyond excited. A family. At this point Anika explained Banff NP had 120 bears and this was bear 64 and her three two year olds. Anytime soon they’ll be turfed out. Bear 64 is 29, a black bear and still fertile.
The birth of triplets had been a very exciting event in Banff, it being rare anywhere. Said bear does nose around the outskirts of Banff, causing a certain amount of distress, which is understandable. But sad.
The number, 64 we were told was random and isn’t sequenced but done so that the children can be numbered sequentially. I think I had that right.
Back in our hotel, and still buzzing we headed out for dinner. For some reason I photo’ed it… Meah, I was clearly still in bear heaven. I didn’t even mind the kale spawn in the middle pic.
No poutine, though..