A stolen teddy bear finally reunited with its owner after a four-day disappearance, catching the attention of locals, celebrities and internationally media wishing for a happy ending.
The custom Build-A-Bear named Mama Bear, which carries a dying mother’s final message to her daughter was in “perfect condition” aside from its missing signature square glasses.
“She’s home. I didn’t think she would come back, but she did,” said the 28-year-old Mara Soriano, “Mama Bear’s home.”
The bear was stolen last Friday when Soriano was moving apartments in Vancouver’s West End.
Soriano scoured the area, putting up posters, going through dumpsters and approaching strangers to ask about the missing bear.
The story caught the attention of CBC News reporter Deborah Goble, who first broke the story when she posted Soriano’s story on Twitter, causing a massive hunt for the missing bear.
This caught the attention of Ryan Reynolds, who offered $5,000 reward to those who would return the valuable bear.
Soon after, celebrities tweeted their sentiments in hopes of reuniting Soriano with the bear, while Canadian TV and radio personality George Stroumboulopoulos and Kraft Peanut Butter each pitched in $5,000, raising the total reward offer to $15,000.
On Wednesday, Soriano tweeted that two Good Samaritans have returned the bear “without a scratch on her”.
She received an email from a man on Tuesday, who claims to have some information about the bear.
“Of course, I jumped on it, because it was a lead,” she said.
“I called [CBC News reporter] Deborah Goble because she was the person who broke the story, and I couldn’t have done this without her, so I wanted her to be there, too. Plus, she’s a grown-up, and I wanted to make sure everybody was safe.”
“They brought the bear over to CBC, which was a safe meeting place … and we did it,” she added.
Soriano gave the men an undisclosed amount of her own money “as collateral, ”hoping that the full reward would come through.
“It means just everything to me honestly,” said Soriano, “There was a part of me that thought I’d never see it again, for sure. It’s a big city, there were so many places she could have been, it was like trying to find a needle in a haystack.”