Family says bye to lost bear cub who made himself at home
New Brunswick family 'fell right in love' with cub while it bunked under their deck for a week
A family in New Brunswick has said goodbye to "Buddy" the bear after taking the abandoned cub into their home and stuffing him with strawberries, marshmallows and sugary cereal.
Jeremy Hallihan said the sweet-toothed bear was sent to an animal rescue centre Saturday following a stay that lasted about a week at the family's home in Parker Ridge, roughly an hour's drive north of Fredericton.
Hallihan said he was making coffee last week when he first spotted the bear burrowing for rotten apples in the snow. Over the next few days, the furry intruder kept roaming back to Hallihan's lawn — but there was no sign of the cub's mother.
A family in <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NewBrunswick?src=hash">#NewBrunswick</a> has said goodbye to "Buddy" the bear after taking the abandoned cub into their home for a week. <a href="https://t.co/WxY8adFWUF">pic.twitter.com/WxY8adFWUF</a>—@CBCNB
"I knew there was probably trouble then, because a mother wouldn't let that little guy out of her sight," said Hallihan. "He stayed for a couple of days, but he wouldn't let you near him. You'd get close to him, and he'd dart to the woods."
I must have fed him half a bag of Froot Loops. He loved Froot Loops.–Jeremy Hallihan
Hallihan, an experienced woodsman, said the cub could have been lost or its mother may have been killed during the fall hunting season.
Eventually, the cub decided to den under a deck by the family's swimming pool. Worried the abandoned cub wouldn't make it through winter on its own, Hallihan contacted the provincial wildlife authority to help get the animal off his property and into proper care.
After a few failed attempts to catch the unusual squatter, the cub was eventually lured into a raccoon trap baited with peanut butter.
Hallihan brought the caged critter into the garage to warm up from the cold. He said his daughters, Kyah and Addison, "fell right in love" with the cub, naming their new fuzzy friend "Buddy."
The <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/bear?src=hash">#bear</a> cub was lured into a raccoon trap baited with peanut butter. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NewBrunswick?src=hash">#NewBrunswick</a> <a href="https://t.co/Nn6VFWxYib">pic.twitter.com/Nn6VFWxYib</a>—@CBCNB
The "little ball of fur" couldn't have weighed more than six kilograms, Hallihan said, and gobbled up a variety of snacks from the family's cupboards.
"I must have fed him half a bag of Froot Loops. He loved Froot Loops," he said. "He was really calm. I would just walk over by the cage and he would just look at you."
Hallihan said he thinks the bear could be tamed into a family pet, but he and his wife decided the animal would be better off in the hands of wildlife experts.
He said his five-year-old daughter, Addison, already missed Buddy hours after the bear was picked up by provincial wildlife officers.
Hallihan said his wife is keeping track of Buddy's progress as he settles into his new home at the Atlantic Wildlife Institute, an animal rescue centre near Sackville, N.B.