Project Feed the Bears
How do you shop for 5 hungry bear cubs?
Never take what nature gives you for granted.
Phoenix and I (Shai) were celebrating Phoenix's 19th birthday in the German themed town Leavenworth that is tucked quietly in the Cascade Mountains. One afternoon while eating lunch on a terrace that overlooked the Wenatchee River, there was a couple next to us getting having their photo taken with the amazing mountain backdrop. They suddenly turned in excitement pointing at something in the river below. As I stood up to see what the excitement was about I immediately saw a mama black bear playing with her cubs on the bank of the river! It was beautiful. One honey colored and one dark, they clumsily played at her heels. They took turns testing out the water, wading briefly only to rush back to the safety of the bank. After a few minutes Mama persuaded them both into the waters for a swim. They gingerly followed in after her paddling to keep their heads above the current. She would swim ahead a bit before she circled back around them guiding them further across.
Right before our eyes we were witness to the sweetest and tender of moments. The teaching of a mother to her children. Pure bliss filled my heart to be given such a visual gift and experience. We talked about it to anyone who would listen for the next couple of weeks.
About two weeks later we were home and CJ had hoped on the computer to read some news while I worked next to him. He read allowed the top story "Bear attack in Leavenworth" and my heart sank. Something in my heart told me this was the same mama and her cubs. The story went on to report that early that morning a woman walking her dog was attacked out of nowhere. She went to the emergency room and the bear was tracked and killed. The end of the article confirmed my fear as reality "the two cubs were transported to a local wildlife center." We went to bed with aching hearts.
The next morning tears filled my eyes as I replayed the sweet gift I had been given two weeks prior. Between CJ and I we researched and tracked down the location of her sweet babies. PAWS in Lynwood. A phone call and an awkward story while tears filled my eyes led me to Andi, an angel of a woman, who allowed me to share how I had come to know about the cubs. I explained about 7 Wandering Backpacks and said we wanted to help in anyway we could. She explained that they would have to hibernate at paws before being released. I said we would step in to be their financial support until that time came.
Two days later I learned from Andi that they actually had 5 cubs in their care. They needed produce to bulk them up before hibernation began. That is when our idea for an epic bear feast shopping trip to Costco was conceived! Grocery shopping has never been so fun! 3 flat carts into our truck bed and a stop to the pumpkin patch for a special treat, a large pumpkin each, would have us on our way to make this special delivery!!
Currently they are all tucked in for the winter. We anxiously await pictures in the spring! We will keep you posted here! For now enjoy the ones below :)