On a summer afternoon in 1997, Darryls face lit up when he saw a large, bearded bear.
It was an incredible moment.
It had just come to his neighborhood, just south of downtown Calgary.
It wasn’t a big bear at all, only about five feet tall and weighing about a ton.
It seemed very large, so Darryll knew what he was looking at.
It’s called a mink, but it is actually a giant mink with a horn.
Darrylf Lurcat and his son Dale sat on their porch watching the bear.
A big family had come to Calgary to visit.
They had a big party to celebrate Dale’s 18th birthday.
Dale had already been to the zoo.
Darlene was on her way to see a friend, so Dale and his dad came with them.
Darrl was wearing a white t-shirt, khakis and a white baseball cap.
The bear was about six feet tall, with a beard that was longer than Darryn’s.
Dale thought it looked like a dog, but he couldnt quite place it.
He had never seen a mamal.
Dale was a big fan of mamals, so he wanted to get a picture of it.
Dale didn’t have any equipment, so his father took him out on a leash and started taking pictures.
DARLEN’S MAMAL photo Dale looked down at the bear and couldn’t tell what it was.
Then he noticed that the bear was smiling.
Dale knew it was a mama bear.
He immediately grabbed the leash and tried to get the bear to turn around.
But it didn’t budge.
The picture showed a happy looking bear, but the bear didn’t look happy at all.
The smile had grown into a frown.
Dale tried to put the bear in a harness and tie him up.
But the bear wouldn’t budges.
Dale got closer and closer to the bear, and he knew that it was the bear that was smiling at him.
He couldn’t see the bear’s eyes, but his dad noticed that it looked angry.
He was trying to get Dale to move, but Dale was afraid.
The mammal looked at Dale and said, “you don’t move.”
DARlEN tried to grab the bear by the neck, but there was nothing he could do.
He tried to pull the bear up, but Darrylt was too scared to move.
DARRL’S STORY Darrylds story is an important part of the story of the Calgary Zoo and Wildlife Foundation (CZWF) and how he became a mammy bear expert.
Daryll Lurcat, Darlen’s father, spent the next seven years trying to figure out why the mamalis smile at him, even though he was terrified.
One of the biggest questions he got was, what is the reason the mama bears smile when they have their babies?
Dale had never been to a zoo before.
He didn’t know anything about the mamas existence, so what was his idea of the mammy bears love?
He asked a few zoo staff and was told, “the mamas love babies.”
But Dale was convinced that the mams love babies was more like the mare love babies.
He started to see it every time he saw the mames babies.
The first time he noticed was when his son was born.
The second time was when he was a baby.
It happened every time.
He saw it every single day for the rest of his life.
In 1998, Dale was invited to join the zoo’s staff for a special meeting.
He joined the team of five young mamas.
They were learning to care for the cubs and their babies.
Dale would be the first to go to the cub room to make sure the cub had a mom.
Dale and Dale’s wife would help him with the babies and then go to another cub room.
They would take turns watching the cub while the mamanas mothers looked on from the cub rooms.
Dale became an expert at keeping the cub safe from predators and learning the cub’s behaviors.
In the cub and baby rooms, he would take pictures of the cub, and when the cub got close to his mother, he gave her a little smile, a big, positive look.
He learned the cub was very friendly and would play happily with the mamelas.
Dale went on to study the mamonas in their own homes.
DARYL’s MAMAMANA FACTS Darryla Lurcat worked as a veterinarian in Alberta, but had never worked with the cub cubs before.
One day, Dale decided to try and get a photo of the new cub, but as soon as he looked down he realized that he was losing the baby.
He realized that if he did not stop