December 6, 2011

Teddy the Bear, San Rafael, CA - Boyd Museum

by Moss
12/6/11

When I tell people that I used to hang out with a bear in San Rafael when I was a kid in the 1970's, people usually roll their eyes at me. Anne Charles, my mother was the executive director of The Boyd Museum for a spell, before it became Marin Wildlife and now Wildcare of the Bay Area. The bear, "Teddy" didn't really like to appear to much, preferring to lay back in the far reaches of his cage. As a child, it seemed strange to me that a bear could be held captive in a suburb of San Francisco. As an adult, it seems even more preposterous. But those were the times. There is a picture of Teddy on the Wildcare website (click here), along with the photo caption below in quotes. I'm still trying to find more info and photos, which I will post later.

"Teddy was just a little bear when he came to Albert Park Lane in the 1960s, but already was too large and powerful to stay with the humans who had found him in the Sierras—and too unafraid of people to ever be released. A special enclosure was built for him, and he was well fed and well loved by visitors, but his daily caretakers always felt a certain sadness to see the caged boredom of his life. Teddy was a true ambassador, however. Since his time, strict regulations about keeping wildlife have been enacted to help prevent other wild animals from sharing a common fate."

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Happened upon your blog this morning and am wondering if you ever found more pictures.

When I was a freshman in SRHS, I got school credit (career education) for a semester of volunteering at the Boyd Museum.

I remember feeding frozen half gallon milk cartons to Teddy and watching him slurp the slowly melting milk-cicle.

I also remember bringing food to the long armed monkey's (rhesus??) cage and being told to never lose eye-contact with the monkey while bringing him his food. One look away and he was likely to grab you... scared the daylights out of this very shy freshman.

Loved the entire experience.

Mossworld said...

Thanks man for the comment. I just caught it. I don't remember the monkey...but that does sound daunting. I'm still trying to track down more pics of Teddy. I do remember an indoor display of stuffed bobcats, racoons, etc. And the pond outside with ducks and other fowl. But Teddy....man, that was a trip. You couldn't get away with caging a bear in Marin anymore...but then again...who would have thought trains would return to Marin after they left in the 70's.