AUGUST 1, 2006
BEAR FLEES for 2nd TIME BEFORE NEUTERING
GOLDEN, British Columbia (AP) - A freedom-loving grizzly bear
named Boo smashed a heavy steel door and barreled through two
electric fences to escape a second time from a resort near this
south-central British Columbia town.
"It's unbelievable," Dalzell said. "We thought there was no way, it was absolutely impossible, but he found a way. It was basically like breaking out of Fort Knox."
He said the bear bashed a nearly 400-pound steel door off its four bolts, destroyed an electrical box while tearing through two electric fences and scrambled over a 12-foot fence anchored with 2 feet of steel below ground.
"I think he just kept charging it (the door) and charging it until it broke off its bolts," Dalzell said. "Everything was completely trashed. We are dealing with a pretty smart and determined bear."
The search team that caught Boo on Friday went back to work Sunday morning but saw no sign of the grizzly after logging more than 50 hours in a helicopter.
Resort staff had planned to neuter Boo, but he got away first. Once he's located, authorities will decide whether to try to recapture him again, Dalzell said.
"Right now we are in the process of looking for him . . . we are not out to try to trap or tranquilize him," he said. "We are looking at all options. Obviously, we need to just really look at our program and figure this one out."
The bear has lived inside a 22-acre enclosure since his mother was illegally shot by a hunter in 2002. It's unclear if he could fend for himself and, being used to humans, would likely be a problem in the wild, experts said.
"Boo is now in a "lose-lose situation," said Tracey Henderson of the Grizzly Bear Alliance in Canmore, Alberta.
"The poor guy has now tasted freedom and he is going to be more motivated to keep getting out," she said. "There is a side of me that's saying, 'Way to go Boo,' but there is another side of me that's really worried about this bear being in the wild near humans."
Boo's first escape was blamed on hormones, June being the prime mating season for grizzlies, but Henderson said the second escape might indicate the bear no longer would tolerate confinement.
"It's just a sad situation," she said. "He is clearly a bear that wants to be free, yet we've created a situation where it's not really safe for him to be free."
Copyright 2000 Claude Dern, All Rights Reserved
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