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Little Orphaned Bear Cub Loves Getting Foot Tickles From The Man Who Rescued Her

ryan.ford 18 Jun 2019

Sometimes animals need human help, and it's one of the great things about humans that we are not only able to help, but are also willing to. Opposable thumbs are great, and so much better when they're driven by a good heart.

One of those good hearts helping out animals in need is Casey Anderson, but he works particularly with some animals that a lot of us would hesitate to get near.

Casey Anderson is many things, including a friend to bears.

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In addition to hosting shows for National Geographic, Anderson is a filmmaker, naturalist, and the founder of Montana Grizzly Encounter, a grizzly bear rescue and education sanctuary in Bozeman.

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The first bear Casey rescued was an Alaskan grizzly named Brutus.

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Casey rescued Brutus as a cub, and they've been together for more than a decade since then. Brutus was the first bear at Montana Grizzly Encounter, and over the years, Casey and Brutus have formed quite the bond.

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But Brutus isn't the only bear Anderson has rescued.

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Montana Grizzly Encounter is home to five bears, including little Bella here. Like Brutus, Bella came from Alaska. It's unknown what happened to her mother, but Casey believes she was killed by a hunter. Without a mother, Bella was highly unlikely to survive in the wild.

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However, at Montana Grizzly Encounter, she's undeniably a star.

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Look at that cutie! It's easy to see where everyone at the sanctuary could easily be swayed into docile fawning at her adorable face. But of course, she's going to be around humans at the sanctuary, and so she would need to be socialized.

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For humans and bear cubs alike, it's serious business.

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Bella's tiny now, but she won't stay that way for long. She'll end up a massive, furry presence with sharp claws and huge teeth. But that's not to say that the socializing can't be fun, too.

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Obviously Casey has worked with cubs before, going back to his early days with Brutus.

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And when working with Bella, he had some cool tricks to fall back on.

"We play this game of space," Casey explains. "So, here I am, a frail, 200-pound guy, I could never even compete, but if I can make them believe that I will never give them space and that I will take the space away from them, they think 'Wow, this guy's pretty big and tough."

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One of the rewards for earning that space and building a relationship is trust.

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And one of the rewards for trust? Tickles. Yes, Casey gets to give little Bella tickles on bottom of her little bear cub feet.

It's definitely a do-not-try-this-at-home moment, but it's also one that you can enjoy very much from behind your screen.

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Hey, you've got to get those grizzly tickles in while you can, right?

They're only young once!

Watch more of Casey and Bella's adorable time together in the video below!

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