Many people associate Chateau Lake Louise with luxurious accommodation and fine dining; a place where it is easier to expand your waistline than your mind. But this weekend, I was able to do both (and with a bit more hiking on the fabulous trails around Lake Louise the waistline should return to normal). Casey Anderson, host of Nat. Geo WILD series, is in Canada’s highest community to share stories about what it takes to survive a cougar attack (70 stitches and a promise to never forget), what it’s like to have a pet grizzly (Brutus likes belly rubs) and what happens when cougars move into your neighborhood (coming soon to a TV near you).
“My goal is to make wild cool again,” said Casey as he kicked off a ninety-minute presentation on his experiences with captive animals and as a producer of several wildlife shows. Thirteen years ago, Casey rescued Brutus, the tiny grizzly cub, from a wildlife ark in Idaho. Brutus has given Casey insight into the lives of wild animals and when Brutus cried from a belly-ache, “it shattered everything I thought I knew,” Casey said. “It is my goal to make sure no other animals live in captivity.”
Making sure there are wild places for wild animals propels Casey forward, meeting people and spreading the word about the amazing exploits of wild creatures. The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise offered a special Into The Wild Package for people who wanting more than ninety minutes with Casey. I was one of ten lucky people who got to swap bear stories over dinner with Casey and hike to Lake Agnes where we could find out what it is like to film a reality show (the star suffers while the crew gets battery packs and beer helicoptered in). Casey explained how his relationship with Brutus is changing and while the bear is excited to see Casey when he returns from his trip, he’s choosing to spend more time with other bears. I may not have a pet grizzly but the next time I see a bear I will look at it differently because of Brutus.
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