The best-known grizzly bear in B.C.'s Kootenays is on the lam again, heading out on a walkabout for springtime, with love in the air.

Boo the nine-year-old bear has lived in a wildlife refuge at the Kicking Horse Mountain Resort near Golden since he was a cub, but he has a record of making a dash for it, and he's done it again.

"We believe the main reason he decided to [escape is] there has been a female grizzly in the area," said resort spokesman Jordan Petrovics.

"He decided to see what is on the other side of the fence."     

Boo dug his way out of the enclosure sometime Saturday night, and now the resort, the RCMP and conservation officers are on the lookout, even using a helicopter to try to track down the bear.

No one in Golden is too worried however, because the refuge is in the mountains, 14 kilometers away, said city administrator Jon Wilsgard. But there is some concern for Boo, because he is out in the wild with minimal skills as a feral bear.

2 previous escapes

Boo has lived in captivity since 2002, when his mother was shot. In 2006, at the age of four, he escaped twice from the his refuge near the B.C.-Alberta border, forcing his keepers to have him neutered.

He made his first escape in early June, going under a fence after catching the scent of a female grizzly.

He was caught and placed under much tighter security in his nine-hectare enclosure. However, he managed to break out again, and was on the loose for several weeks before returning to the resort in search of food.

With files from the CBC's Bob Keating