A woman who donated nearly £4 a month to the WWF spoke today of the heart-stopping moment when she was first introduced to her 800-pound polar bear. Jeanette Harper selflessly adopted the animal after seeing images of it floating about on an iceberg to a piece by Mahler, and has continued to make her payments even through the harshest of winters. But Jeanette’s strong motherly instincts pushed her to take their relationship further.
Jeanette described her decision to book an Alaskan wildlife holiday, after receiving a series of touching postcards from her bear. "Paul's such a poppet, he always signs off with a paw print and a big kiss, I think he really appreciates what I do for him. That's why I booked this train journey, I had to try and see him even if it was just from the observation car. I just hoped he could take a few minutes break from mauling seal pups."
Jeanette took several postcards from Paul to show her fellow travellers, but the reunion still came as a surprise to the passengers of Car 9B. "The train stopped suddenly outside Anchorage, after the driver got confused by all the knobs and levers. That's when I spotted Paul, lumbering towards us across the tundra. I knew it was him straight away: he was big, white and bear-shaped, just like in his photo."
Jeanette admitted that Paul appeared bolshy at first. "He was a little bit mad with hunger, even though he still had a flipper stuck in his teeth. After he'd wrenched the door open, he made a beeline for that bloody woman in the seat behind me. He must have heard her going on and on about her daughter’s impending marriage to a top surgeon and how the reception was going to be in her new orangery. Arctic predators instinctively hate show-offs."
"I was just about to mutter something unkind about her before Paul came in and ripped her face off. It was uncanny, it was as if there was an invisible connection between us. As he clawed her torso in half and gobbled on the wobbly tubes and stuff, everyone around me was crying with the emotion of it all. They'll never forget the moment we bonded."
Jeanette is delighted with the latest addition to her family. “As soon as I saw Paul adrift on the ocean, I knew I had to chip in for a bigger iceberg”, admitted Jeanette. “I’m hoping to eventually introduce him to the dog I adopted in 1983. I’m sure they’ll get on: Patch has very neat writing for a 34 year-old spaniel.”
Hat-tip to Vertically Challenged Giant