List of individual bears
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The following is a list of non-fictional bears who garnered national or world-wide attention:
Bart the Bear
Little Bart, born 2000 in Alaska, is Bart the Bear's namesake. An unrelated Kodiak bear raised by Doug and Lynne Seus, he has appeared in several movie and TV productions, including: Dr. Dolittle 2, CSI, Scrubs, Into the Wild and featured in the third season of Game of Thrones.
Bear 71 was a grizzly bear in Banff National Park, collared at the age of three and watched her whole life via trail cameras in the park. She is the subject of a 2011 National Film Board of Canada web documentary Bear 71, which premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival.
In June 2006, a wild bear in Bavaria made headlines. The first brown bear spotted in Southern Germany for a century, Bruno became something of a celebrity inspiring songs, toys and an online game. However, when it became apparent Bruno had killed dozens of sheep and goats, Bavaria's Environment Ministry warned that Bruno posed a serious risk to public safety.
Bruno was shot dead hours after the Bavarian authorities approved a shoot-to-kill policy. His death prompted public outcry; many questioned why a tranquilizer dart had not been used.
Binky was a polar bear who lived at the Alaska Zoo in Anchorage, Alaska. He became famous in the summer of 1994 after mauling several zoo visitors who, disregarding safety bars and signs, got too close to the bear's enclosure. After these attacks, Binky received international news coverage and became a local hero. Binky and cage-mate Nuka died in 1995 of a parasitic infection.
Brody the Bear
Born in January 1995, Brody made his first television appearance at the age of 12 weeks on Good Morning America. Brody has since appeared in numerous films, television shows, commercials and print ads. He has also worked with some of the top wildlife photographers in the United States and appeared on the cover of National Geographic Magazine in July 2001.
Brody and his owner Jeff Watson have appeared before over a million people throughout the United States for educational programs focusing on bears and safety while spending time in bear country hiking, camping, and fishing.
Brumas, (born November 1949) was the first baby polar bear to be successfully reared in the United Kingdom. Raised at Regent's Park Zoo in London, she became a major celebrity and was largely responsible for the zoo recording its all-time record annual attendance during 1950. Although a female, it was erroneously reported in the press that Brumas was male, and as such many members of the public believed her to be a "he". The bear's name came from the name of her two keepers, Bruce and Sam. Brumas died in May 1958.
Gus, a polar bear at the Central Park Zoo in New York City from 1988 to 2013, came to media attention in the 1990s when he was seen obsessively swimming in his pool for up to 12 hours a day. The zoo paid $25,000 to an animal behavioral therapist to diagnose Gus' problem; the therapist concluded that Gus was "bored and mildly crazy in the way that a lot of people are in New York". Gus' erratic behavior tapered off with changes to his habitat and mealtimes; he was also the first zoo animal in history to be treated with Prozac. From the publicity surrounding his diagnosis and treatment, Gus became a symbol of the "neurotic" New Yorker and was the subject of several books and a play.
Flocke was born in captivity at the Nuremberg Zoo in Nuremberg, Germany on 11 December 2007. The polar bear's name means "Flake" (as in snowflake) in German. After concerns over the cub's safety were raised due to her aggressive mother, Flocke was removed from the other bears in the zoo and raised by hand. She later became a popular tourist attraction at the zoo; her trademarked name and image became the subject of several toys and games, and she was also used to spearhead a publicity campaign for the metropolitan region of Nuremberg. In April 2010, Flocke and another Nuremberg bear, Rasputin, were moved to Marineland in southern France.
In 1980, Scottish wrestling bear Hercules achieved world fame when he escaped from his trainer and owner, Andy Robin. He subsequently became a regular star of British children's television, and appeared in the James Bond film Octopussy. Robin used gentle giant Hercules in his act on the UK wrestling circuit in the late 1970s and early 1980s, regularly drawing audiences of 15 million viewers on ITV's World Of Sport program.
Famous for being "born on the internet" in 2010 when her birth was broadcast by webcam, Hope and her mother Lily were subjects of a study by professor Lynn Rogers and featured in the BBC documentary The Bear Family & Me. In September 2011 it was reported that Hope was believed to have been shot dead by hunters.
Inuka (Inuit for "Silent Stalker") is a polar bear born in 1990, and one of the mascots of the Singapore Zoo.
Knut was a polar bear born in captivity at the Berlin Zoological Garden. Rejected by his mother at birth, he was raised by zookeepers. He was the first polar bear cub to survive past infancy at the Berlin Zoo in more than 30 years. At one time the subject of international controversy, he became a tourist attraction and commercial success. Knut became the center of a mass media phenomenon dubbed "Knutmania" that spanned the globe and spawned toys, media specials, DVDs, and books. Because of this, the cub was largely responsible for a significant increase in revenue, estimated at about five million euros, at the Berlin Zoo in 2007. On 19 March 2011, Knut unexpectedly died at the age of four. His death was caused by drowning after he collapsed into his enclosure's pool while suffering from encephalitis.
Old Ephraim was a very large grizzly bear that roamed the Cache National Forest circa 1911–23.
Pipaluk was the first male polar bear born in captivity in Britain, and, like Brumas, became a major celebrity at Regent's Park Zoo in London during early 1968. His name came from an Inuit term meaning "little one". Pipaluk was moved from London to Poland in 1985 when the Mappin Terraces, which housed the bears, was closed. He died in 1990.
Siku is a male polar bear cub born in November 2011. Abandoned by his mother, who produced insufficient milk to feed him, he was put into care at the Scandinavian Wildlife Park. A YouTube video of him became an overnight sensation, and invited comparisons with Knut (polar bear).
Voytek (Polish spelling Wojtek) was a Syrian brown bear which was adopted by a Polish army unit during World War II. He took part in the Battle of Monte Cassino in 1944 by carrying artillery ammunition. After the war, he lived in the Edinburgh Zoo.
Wilbär is a polar bear born at the Wilhelma Zoo in Stuttgart, Germany in 2007.
Winnipeg the Bear
Winnipeg was a black bear which lived at the London Zoo from 1915 to 1934. She became the mascot of the Fort Garry Horse, a Canadian cavalry regiment, and was named after Winnipeg, Manitoba – the home town of the regiment's veterinarian. Winnipeg is best known today as the inspiration for the character Winnie-the-Pooh in A. A. Milne's classic children's books.
Notable unnamed bears
An old injured bear was tied up in Mississippi as part of a canned hunt for President Theodore Roosevelt. Teddy Roosevelt refused to shoot the bear, and this event was popularized by cartoonist Clifford Berryman, resulting in the creation of the Teddy bear.
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- Makarechi, Kia (24 January 2012). "'Bear 71': Interactive Film At Sundance Tells Dark Side Of Human Interaction With Wildlife". Huffington Post. Retrieved 25 January 2012.
- Bruno the bear dodges German hunt, BBC News, 19 June 2006.
- Bruno the Bear
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- Zoological Society of London "Famous animals" webpage, accessed October 26, 2008
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- "1980: Missing Scottish bear is found". BBC News. 13 September 1980.
- "World famous black bear Hope is believed killed". Retrieved 22 August 2013.
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- Boyes, Roger (13 December 2007). "Berlin Zoo culls creator of the cult of Knut". London: The Times. Retrieved 8 July 2009.
- "Celebrity Polar Bear Knut Is Dead". Spiegel Online. 19 March 2011. Retrieved 19 March 2011.