Meet Jerry the Moose – B.C.’s Answer to Yogi Bear

While Jellystone Park’s most notorious resident is known for his picnic-basket thefts, BC Parks’s official mascot has a decidedly less larcenous – and more athletic – reputation. Jerry the Moose is quite possibly the most active moose in B.C. As BC Parks official mascot, he skis, hikes, fishes, and travels around the province teaching kids about ecological conservation and outdoor recreation.

The original Jerry – an orphaned baby moose – first visited a BC Park in the 1960s when a rancher in the Cariboo found the young moose wandering alone in the woods and adopted him. The orphaned moose had an affinity for people. He would come when his name was called and patiently stood still while adults and children would pet his muzzle – something that would be very dangerous with a wild moose. Park rangers in nearby Wells Grey Provincial Park heard about the moose and recognized the value of using him to educate kids about conservation. Jerry was relocated permanently to the park and cared for by the rangers.

The original Jerry has long since retired but his legacy lives on. In 1986, the 75th anniversary of BC Parks, the Jerry the Moose character became the official BC Parks mascot. Jerry welcomed visitors from around the world at the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in Vancouver and he continues to be a presence around B.C.’s parks and protected areas.

The mascot outfit got a makeover for the BC Parks centennial this year. Jerry’s modern, lean and more agile outfit lets him move quickly from park to park and makes him more sprightly when joining kids for hiking, ice fishing and occasionally skiing

Why It Matters:

Jerry the Moose is a positive role model who teaches environmental stewardship and a love for the outdoors to the youngest generation of British Columbians. Jerry provides a vital way to engage youth in learning the importance of ecological conservation and healthy, active lifestyles.

British Columbia’s provincial park system celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2011.  A century ago, B.C. created its first provincial park – Strathcona Provincial Park on Vancouver Island. Today there are nearly 1,000 parks and protected areas.

“It’s amazing to see a child’s eyes light up when they see Jerry the Moose in a park. Jerry makes learning about the outdoors a fun adventure and gives kids a lifelong appreciation for B.C.’s beautiful outdoors. With so many events happening this year to mark the centennial, a whole new generation of youth will have a chance to meet Jerry and learn why BC Parks are such a magical place to visit,” said Minister of Environment Terry Lake.

Quick Facts:

  • Jerry has made thousands of appearances around the province since becoming the official BC Parks mascot in 1986. He is expected to entertain kids at more than 50 events this summer to mark the centennial.
  • BC Parks manages 999 provincial parks, recreation areas, conservancies, ecological reserves and protected areas covering 13.6 per cent of B.C. – about 13.15 million hectares or slightly more than 131,500 square kilometres.
  • About 20 million people visit British Columbia’s provincial parks each year.

 

 

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