Bear went fishing!

By Meghan Overdeep
February 25, 2019
Facebook/South Carolina State Parks

For most five-year-old boys, losing a beloved stuffed bear would be a traumatic experience. But not for Thompson McDaniel.

When the youngster left his bear behind at the Myrtle Beach State Park cabin his family rented earlier this month, park staff did their best to ease his fears.

According to Myrtle Beach Online, McDaniel’s family had already returned to their home in Columbia, South Carolina, when they noticed they were missing one of their own. A quick phone call to the state park confirmed the stuffed bear’s whereabouts: he’d never left the cabin.

After agreeing to ship the little bear home to his owner, park rangers decided to make sure Thompson knew how well his friend was being taken care of.

Assistant Park Manager Amanda Jenkins told Myrtle Beach Online that a woman who worked in the park’s office suggested the staff members give the stuffed bear his own “mini-vacation” before sending him home.

So, they gave the bear his own little ranger hat and went about treating him to an adventure.

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“We wanted to show how much fun the bear had on his little mini-vacation,” Jenkins told the paper.

Park staff used last Friday afternoon to show Thompson’s bear the sights, take him fishing, and drive him around in a state park service truck. The South Carolina State Parks shared photos of the bear’s adventures on Facebook page the story of Thompson and his bear, which were shared more 1,000 times.

By the time the bear arrived home Wednesday afternoon, Thompson had renamed it Mr. “Junior Ranger Bear.”

Jenkins told Myrtle Beach Online that she was thrilled they were able to reunite Thompson with his bear.

“What could have been a negative experience for Thompson, we were able to turn it around,” she said.