Reunited and it feels so good. Ward and Kathy Yeager back with the full bear family outside Baby Bears Ice Cream Shoppe. (Photo by Don Bodger)

‘I am so sorry’: Stolen Baby Bear statue reunited with Mama, Papa Bear in B.C. town

Culprit left it near the Henry Road roundabout in Chemainus with a note attached

Intense media and social media scrutiny has resulted in the return of the Baby Bear statue, stolen in the early morning hours Monday from its perch in Chemainus’ Secret Garden.

Kathy and Ward Yeager are ecstatic to have the bear back in its rightful place with Mama and Papa Bear at Baby Bears Ice Cream Shoppe.

The bear was found by a trucker off the haul road near the Henry Road roundabout Tuesday morning. A note attached read: “I am so sorry for taking the bear.”

Duncan/North Cowichan RCMP came to the ice cream shoppe to deliver the bear where they met Chris Webb, who does computer work for the Yeagers and was there to see if he could extract more images of the culprit from the surveillance camera at the business.

Webb quickly called the Yeagers with the good news.

“I couldn’t believe it when we got the call this morning,” said Kathy.

“I hoped it would be returned and I’m happy, very happy,” said Ward.

“Our community really pulls together,” added Kathy. “It’s a community artifact.”

Baby Bear had his feet ripped out during the theft from a cemented stand, and was a little worse for wear but will now at least be able to heal and get back to his rightful place.

Kathy was quick to credit the staff at the Chemainus Health Care Centre’s Urgent Care – and, specifically, Dr. Jim Broere and R.N. Gina Boudot – for springing into action.

“Even the doctors helped out to get him repaired,” marvelled Ward. “It’s the first bear Dr. Broere has operated on.”

While the medical staff was working on his feet, “the I.V. was honey,” chuckled Ward.

The theft of the bear drew province-wide attention for the senseless nature of the crime where the suspect could be seen repeatedly kicking at the statue to dislodge it, but also as a symbol of escalating incidents pertaining to property crime in communities.

Ward expressed his gratitude to the news media for the response that undoubtedly had something to do with the bear’s return.

“We had so many thousands of people who’ve responded,” he said.

“The Garden here is a little bit of Chemainus. Everybody likes to come here. Everybody has taken a bit of ownership of this. This is a moment I can say we’ve got a nice ending here, albeit we’ve got a bit of repair to do. He’s part of the family.”

Video surveillance was crucial, too, with clear images of the suspect being released, Ward added.

“This was actually very violent when you take a look at the video. When you steal things, you’re not going to do that anonymity anymore. If I was him, I’d be terribly embarrassed. I think his family should be terribly embarrassed what he did.”

The Yeagers aren’t about to let him off the hook just because the bear’s been returned and hope he’ll still be identified to face charges.

Fairy tales and fables do come true, and the tale of the Three Bears, in Chemainus at least, does have a happy ending.

“In the spring, I think we’ll have a grand opening where Baby Bear will be re-installed,” said Ward.

At the same time, there will be free ice cream for all.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

The note found with the bear. (Photo submitted)

Baby Bear weighs 130 pounds and is a tough little guy. Kathy and Ward Yeager know he’ll bounce back just fine after getting some repairs. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Just Posted

West Kootenay SPCA hopes you’ll have a heart for Cupid

Cat who tangled with a bobcat seeking a permanent home

New ‘hub’ model takes regional approach to doctor recruitment in West Kootenay

Kootenay-Boundary a provincial leader in effectively attracting doctors to work here

Painting Ourselves Visible group to create mural

A new partnership between Kootenay Gallery of Art and Castlegar Pride

Castlegar Skating Club prepares for regional championships

Watch local skaters on March 11 at 4:30 p.m.

Castlegar council develops policy for question period

Questions must pertain to current agenda items and issues or items of interest to the general public

HIGHLIGHTS: Day one and two at the 2020 BC Winter Games

Athletes had sunny – but cold – weather to work with in Fort St. John

Tyler Toffoli scores twice, Canucks crush Bruins 9-3

Stecher, Miller each add three points for Vancouver

Zamboni driver, 42, earns NHL win over Maple Leafs

Emergency goalie called into action for Carolina Hurricanes

Governor general says multiple solutions needed for ‘complicated’ overdose issue

Julie Payette met at a fire hall with firefighters and police officers as well as politicians and health experts

Landlord ordered to pay $11K after harassing B.C. mom to move days after giving birth

Germaine Valdez was pressured to move just a few days after giving birth by C-section to her child

Heart attacks strike B.C. husband and wife just over one year apart

Courtenay couple share personal stories to bring awareness to heart month

‘Nothing surprises us anymore:’ U.S. border officials find brain in package

U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents found the brain packed in a glass mason jar in a Canada Post shipment

Adapting to love along the Columbia River

One man starts a GoFundme to help his partner with health costs caused on the trip where they met

B.C., Ottawa sign sweeping 30-year deal for northern caribou habitat

West Moberly, Saulteau co-manage new protection on two million acres

Most Read