By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
Glacier National Park staff in Montana helped reunite a little girl with her beloved teddy bear almost exactly one year after she lost it in the park.
Naomi, a little girl from Ethiopia, lost her teddy bear on the Hidden Lake Trail in the park on Oct. 9, 2020. She received the bear as a gift from her new parents while still in an orphanage in Ethiopia.
According to her parents, Teddy “kept her company until she could come home for good.” Teddy traveled with her around the world, and they had many adventures together.
As park rangers were conducting post season clean-up last year, they discovered a small, sopping wet teddy bear buried in the snow.
Normally, because the bear was in such bad shape, they would have thrown it away, but something just didn’t sit right with Ranger Tom Mazzarisi.
“Bears are my passion. I just didn’t have the heart to throw it away,” he said. “There was something special about this teddy bear, so I adopted him and named him Ceasar.”
Mazzarisi monitors bear activity in the Hudson Bay District and made Ceasar the mascot for his patrol car. Ceasar sat proudly, front and center on the dashboard and kept a sharp eye out for bears and other wild animals.
Together, they traveled through rugged mountainous terrain and Ceasar helped Mazzarisi keep the public and wildlife safe all year long.
This year, a family friend of Naomi’s returned to the park. By random chance, they noticed Ceasar sitting in a patrol vehicle at a park trailhead and was certain this was Teddy.
They left a note and contacted staff.
Rangers assisted in retrieving Teddy, insisting that he was going home to his little girl.
One ranger waited by the vehicle until the other returned from the backcountry, one tried to track the keys down, and another delivered the bear to the family friend personally from Logan Pass to Apgar.
On Thursday night, Teddy made his way into Naomi’s arms after a year of being separated.