My husband Dave is dwarfed by this statue of the Great Plains Grizzly Bear which we encountered on our visit to Ancient Echoes, an interpretive centre and museum in Herschel Saskatchewan. There are no more great grizzlies on the prairies but at one time thousands made their home there. The demise of the bison as a food source and the threat posed by the influx of European hunters forced the big bears off the prairies.
Made from Manitoba tyndall stone by Saskatoon artist Kim Epp this sculpture is a graphic reminder of how the in flux of settlers changed the prairie landscape forever. A sign by the bear notes the Great Plains grizzly was once an integral part of the aboriginal scared circle of creation. One in ten grizzlies have white fur and in some First Nations groups the white bears were thought of as spirit bears that had special powers.
Our guide at Ancient Echoes, David Neufeld told us we know for certain there were great grizzlies in the Herschel area of Saskatchewan because a Scottish lord, James Carnegie the 9th Earl of Southesk shot one there on July 20, 1859. He recorded the event in his diary which was published fifteen years later.
The Earl went on a hunting expedition across Western Canada. According to David Neufeld the game trophies from his trip to Canada are still on display on the walls of Kinnaird Castle in Scotland.
I checked the castle out on the internet and you can rent rooms there and go hiking, shooting or fishing in the area. Perhaps you can also catch a glimpse of a Great Plains grizzly that lived over a hundred years ago in Herschel, Saskatchewan.
Other posts about Ancient Echoes………
Other posts about bears………