About a week after losing him at Starved Rock State Park, Gracie Smith greeted her teddy bear with a squeezing hug and two emphatic kisses.
Mr. Bear now is home safe.
Gracie opened the package Friday from Starved Rock staff with her lost teddy bear inside in a video shared by Gracie's grandmother.
Gracie yelled with excitement after finding the bear in a Starved Rock duffle bag.
Gracie, who lives in North Carolina, lost her new teddy bear purchased in Sandwich when she left him "in the perfect hole to rest" while visiting Starved Rock.
Her grandma was able to alert staff of the bear through a Facebook post.
Former Starved Rock Lodge employee Edna Daugherty had been hiking and had actually photographed the bear in a crevice in a canyon wall. She informed Starved Rock Lodge marketing director Kathy Casstevens the bear was located at Council Overhang.
After dropping off a group for an “Autumn on the River” tour, Starved Rock Lodge activities director Laura Guerrero headed over to Council Overhang and found the bear.
Along with the teddy bear, Starved Rock staff sent photos of her bear found at Council Overhang, riding on Eagle #1, riding on Liberty the trolley and answering phones at the park.
"Mr Bear made it home safe," said Gracie's grandmother Pam Quesenberry George in her Facebook post. "Thank you Starved Rock Staff."