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Cape Breton's birthday bear

Mike Timmons, park attendant at the Two Rivers Wildlife Park, shares a bear hug with Little Bear while getting him prepared for his first birthday party which will be held at his enclosure at the park at 1:30 p.m. Saturday. Little Bear was an abandoned and dying cub who was rescued and then brought back to health by park staff. Park staff say Little Bear has caught attention not only across Canada but also in the United States, as the public and businesses continue to rally to help him through donations toward the construction of a mandatory enclosure that has to be built by the end of the year in order for the park to keep him.
Mike Timmons, park attendant at the Two Rivers Wildlife Park, shares a bear hug with Little Bear while getting him prepared for his first birthday party which will be held at his enclosure at the park at 1:30 p.m. Saturday. Little Bear was an abandoned and dying cub who was rescued and then brought back to health by park staff. Park staff say Little Bear has caught attention not only across Canada but also in the United States, as the public and businesses continue to rally to help him through donations toward the construction of a mandatory enclosure that has to be built by the end of the year in order for the park to keep him.

HUNTINGTON, N.S. — A little bear is in for a big surprise.

Little Bear, the park’s new star attraction, turned one year old Saturday.
“Some even drove from the mainland for his birthday party,” said park manager Johnny Huntington.
“They came with birthday gifts of strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, apples and grapes," he said.
Many people came carrying the fruit in actual birthday bags and some people even brought birthday cards.
One birthday card read “Now you’re one,” on the front and was signed “Esther and Andrew MacNeil, Westmount.”
Huntington said some people gave donations or adopted Little Bear.
Little Bear’s saga began back in May when the black bear cub was discovered abandoned, dehydrated, severely underweight and suffering from pneumonia in Whycocomagh.
After a lot of time and love he was nursed back to health. However, he can’t be released back into the wild after being raised by humans and is too young to be put in with the park’s bears.
The Department of Natural Resources told the park they’d have to build an 18,000-foot enclosure with a pool — at a cost of $40,000 without the labour — by the end of the year or the bear would have to be put down.
Following a story in the Cape Breton Post, people have been rallying behind Little Bear across Canada and the United States to help raise the money.
Although the party Saturday was scheduled to start at 1:30 p.m., people began arriving at 10 a.m.
Huntington’s wife Kelly, who is a park attendant, said the party had to be delayed until 2 p.m.
“At 1:30 p.m. there were still people waiting in line a quarter of a mile, all the way out to Grand Mira Road.”
Little Bear has a divider in his current enclosure and when it was raised so he could get his cake, he ran not for the cake but park attendant Mike Timmons. Timmons raised Little Bear at the park from Day 1.
“He just loves Mike,” Kelly said.
“They hugged and wrestled and played for a bit.”
Little Bear is noted as quite a ham and loves a big crowd.
Little Bear’s cake was shaped like a teddy bear and included every type of fruit imaginable.
The crowd celebrated in a big way.
“Everyone sang ‘Happy Birthday,’” Kelly said.
Johnny said although the story in the Cape Breton Post asked people not to feed Little Bear, it’s obvious it the public — who love him so much — did sneak him berries and fruit.
“We know people were feeding him as when it came time to take the cake out he wasn’t really hungry,” he said.
“He had fun playing with it though, dipping in the whipped cream and picking out berries.”
A birthday reception followed in the park administration building.
Little Bear had fun at his party but the next day was “beary” tired.
“It was like the day after a big party — almost like a hangover,” Johnny said.
The fundraising drive for Little Bear’s enclosure is continuing. To adopt Little Bear or to help out, telephone the park at 902-727-2483.

Little Bear Essentials

• Turned one year old Saturday

• Originally of Whycocomagh

• Enjoys wrestling and hugging park attendant Mike Timmons

• Loves to show off

• Favourite toys: buoys and big sticks

• Favourite food: any kind of berry, apples and grapes

• Anyone wishing to help Little Bear can visitwww.tworiverspark.ca/index0.php, or phone the park at 902-737-2483

smontgomery@cbpost.com
 



Little Bear, the park’s new star attraction, turned one year old Saturday.
“Some even drove from the mainland for his birthday party,” said park manager Johnny Huntington.
“They came with birthday gifts of strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, apples and grapes," he said.
Many people came carrying the fruit in actual birthday bags and some people even brought birthday cards.
One birthday card read “Now you’re one,” on the front and was signed “Esther and Andrew MacNeil, Westmount.”
Huntington said some people gave donations or adopted Little Bear.
Little Bear’s saga began back in May when the black bear cub was discovered abandoned, dehydrated, severely underweight and suffering from pneumonia in Whycocomagh.
After a lot of time and love he was nursed back to health. However, he can’t be released back into the wild after being raised by humans and is too young to be put in with the park’s bears.
The Department of Natural Resources told the park they’d have to build an 18,000-foot enclosure with a pool — at a cost of $40,000 without the labour — by the end of the year or the bear would have to be put down.
Following a story in the Cape Breton Post, people have been rallying behind Little Bear across Canada and the United States to help raise the money.
Although the party Saturday was scheduled to start at 1:30 p.m., people began arriving at 10 a.m.
Huntington’s wife Kelly, who is a park attendant, said the party had to be delayed until 2 p.m.
“At 1:30 p.m. there were still people waiting in line a quarter of a mile, all the way out to Grand Mira Road.”
Little Bear has a divider in his current enclosure and when it was raised so he could get his cake, he ran not for the cake but park attendant Mike Timmons. Timmons raised Little Bear at the park from Day 1.
“He just loves Mike,” Kelly said.
“They hugged and wrestled and played for a bit.”
Little Bear is noted as quite a ham and loves a big crowd.
Little Bear’s cake was shaped like a teddy bear and included every type of fruit imaginable.
The crowd celebrated in a big way.
“Everyone sang ‘Happy Birthday,’” Kelly said.
Johnny said although the story in the Cape Breton Post asked people not to feed Little Bear, it’s obvious it the public — who love him so much — did sneak him berries and fruit.
“We know people were feeding him as when it came time to take the cake out he wasn’t really hungry,” he said.
“He had fun playing with it though, dipping in the whipped cream and picking out berries.”
A birthday reception followed in the park administration building.
Little Bear had fun at his party but the next day was “beary” tired.
“It was like the day after a big party — almost like a hangover,” Johnny said.
The fundraising drive for Little Bear’s enclosure is continuing. To adopt Little Bear or to help out, telephone the park at 902-727-2483.

Little Bear Essentials

• Turned one year old Saturday

• Originally of Whycocomagh

• Enjoys wrestling and hugging park attendant Mike Timmons

• Loves to show off

• Favourite toys: buoys and big sticks

• Favourite food: any kind of berry, apples and grapes

• Anyone wishing to help Little Bear can visitwww.tworiverspark.ca/index0.php, or phone the park at 902-737-2483

smontgomery@cbpost.com
 



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