List of individual bears
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The following is a list of individual bears who garnered national or world-wide attention:
- Bart the Bear, a male Alaskan Kodiak bear, played the leading role in the 1988 wilderness drama, The Bear, and was nominated for an Academy Award for his performance. Between 1980 and his death in 2000, he also appeared in many other films, including White Fang, Legends of the Fall, and The Edge, and was called "the John Wayne of Bears".
- Bart the Bear 2, (the original Bart the Bear's namesake, also called "Little Bart"), a male interior Alaskan brown bear, has appeared in several films including An Unfinished Life, Into the Wild, and We Bought a Zoo, and TV shows including CSI, Scrubs, and Game of Thrones. He and his sister Honey Bump were also featured in the TV documentaries Growing Up Grizzly and Growing Up Grizzly 2 on the Animal Planet network.
- Bozo, a female grizzly bear, had a co-starring role in the NBC TV series The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams from 1977 to 1978. She played "Benjamin Franklin" aka "Ben", the constant companion of "Grizzly Adams" (played by Dan Haggerty). She also appeared in the films The Night of the Grizzly (1966) and King of the Grizzlies (1970).
- Brody, a male Kodiak bear, has appeared in numerous films, television shows, commercials and print ads. He has worked with wildlife photographers and appeared on the cover of National Geographic Magazine. Brody and his owner Jeff Watson have appeared throughout the United States for educational programs focusing on bears and safety.
- Bruno, a male American black bear, appeared as the primary bear actor in the lead role of "Ben" in the 1967 feature film Gentle Giant and the subsequent U.S. television series Gentle Ben from 1967 to 1969. In 1968 he won two PATSY Awards for his work on the film and series. He later received positive reviews for his performance as "Watch Bear" opposite Paul Newman in the 1972 film The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean.
- Hercules, a male grizzly bear born in captivity in Scotland and originally trained as a wrestling bear, became a regular star of British children's television and appeared in the James Bond film Octopussy. He made news in 1980 when he escaped from his trainer and owner, Andy Robin, while filming a Kleenex commercial in Scotland.
- Brutus, a male grizzly bear who is the companion of naturalist and television presenter Casey Anderson, appeared with Anderson in the syndicated Nat Geo documentary television series Expedition Wild. Brutus has had small roles in two feature films, Iron Ridge (2008) and Pretty Ugly People (2008), as well as appearing in numerous educational bear videos.
- Rocky, a male grizzly bear trained by Randy Miller, appeared in the 2008 film Semi-Pro as "Dewey the Killer Bear", in which he wrestled Will Ferrell's body double. On April 22, 2008, Rocky killed trainer Stephan Miller while the two were filming a bear wrestling stunt for a promotional video. The death was later ruled accidental and Rocky was allowed to continue to live under restrictions.
- Whopper, a male Kodiak bear, has appeared in films including Anchorman, Grizzly Falls, Air Bud: Golden Receiver, Return to Grizzly Mountain and the Last Trapper. He is known for his scary bear act where he stands on his hind legs and does a simulated roar.
- Bonkers, a 650-pound male American black bear, has been in films like Baloo from "The Jungle Book: Mowgli's Story" and as the title character, "Gentle Ben" in the remake, "Gentle Ben" (2002) and "Gentle Ben 2". Bonkers starred in a 2004 movie called "A Bear Named Winnie" as the adult Winnie, starring Michael Fassbender as Colebourn. He was in a commercial for the Black Bear Casino Resort. http://www.bearwithus.biz/bonkers.html
Wrestlers and performers
- Hercules, a male grizzly bear owned and trained by Scottish wrestler Andy Robin, appeared on the UK wrestling circuit before becoming known as an actor.
- Terrible Ted, a male American black bear from Canada trained by Canadian wrestler Dave McKigney, wrestled regularly for various North American promotions from the 1950s until the 1970s.
- Victor the Wrestling Bear, a male American black bear (reported by some sources as an Alaskan brown bear) from Canada trained by American wrestler Tuffy Truesdell, wrestled for various North American promotions and also as an attraction at ABA games, sports shows and fairs, starting in the late 1950s. Victor also made several TV appearances including The Ed Sullivan Show and The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, and was in the 1969 film Paint Your Wagon with Clint Eastwood and Lee Marvin. The original Victor died in the mid-1970s from a heart attack and Truesdell, who owned and trained a number of bears, transferred the name to another bear and continued the act until the mid-1980s. Truesdell may also have had several bears working under the "Victor" name.
- Hotfoot, later renamed Smokey, a male American black bear cub, was discovered in the 1950 Capitan Gap forest fire in New Mexico, and became the original incarnation of the 1944 Smokey Bear advertising poster created by the Advertising Council's Rudy Wendelin.
- Rocky (originally named Rakkasan), a female Asian black bear, was purchased as a cub for 40,000 yen (approximately $111) by members of the 187th Airborne Regimental Combat Team (United States) from a zoo in Kumamoto, Japan where they were stationed during the Korean War. She made five parachute jumps, which allowed her to qualify as a paratrooper, and received a Purple Heart after being injured by shell fragments under enemy artillery fire. In 1954, at the age of 16 months, she was sent to live at the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago.
- Wojtek, a male Syrian brown bear, was adopted by a Polish army unit stationed in Iran during World War II. In order for Wojtek to accompany the unit when they sailed from Egypt to Italy, he was drafted into the Polish army as a Private. He took part in the Battle of Monte Cassino in 1944 by carrying artillery ammunition. After the war, he lived in the Edinburgh Zoo.
- Winnipeg, a female American black bear, was purchased as a cub at a train stop in Ontario, Canada by a member of the Canadian Army Veterinary Corps (CAVC), who named her after his hometown of Winnipeg, Manitoba. She became the CAVC mascot and accompanied the unit to England. When the unit transferred to France for combat, she was given to the London Zoo, where she lived from 1915 to 1934. Winnipeg is best known today as the inspiration for the character Winnie-the-Pooh in A. A. Milne's classic children's books.
- Benjamin Franklin aka "Ben", a male grizzly bear, was a companion of American mountain man James "Grizzly" Adams and named after American statesman and founding father Benjamin Franklin.
- Brutus, a male grizzly bear, is the "best friend" of naturalist Casey Anderson and lives with other bears at the Montana Grizzly Encounter bear sanctuary founded by Anderson. Brutus sometimes eats dinner at the table with Anderson's family and was best man at Anderson's wedding.
- Bear 71, a female grizzly bear who lived in Banff National Park, was 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.
- Bear 141, a large male grizzly bear residing in Katmai National Park that killed and partially devoured naturalist and bear-enthusiast Timothy Treadwell and his girlfriend Amie Huguenard in 2003. Bear 141 was shot and killed by park rangers on October 6 2003 to allow retrieval of the bodies. The events leading up to the deaths are documented in the film Grizzly Man.
- Bear JJ1 (also called "Bruno," "Beppo," or "Petzi"), a male Eurasian brown bear seen during the first half of 2006, was the first brown bear spotted in Southern Germany for a century. He was controversially shot in June 2006 after killing domestic animals.
- Hope, a female American black bear cub famous for being "born on the internet" in 2010 when her birth was broadcast by webcam, and her mother Lily were subjects of a study by Professor Lynn Rogers and were 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.
- Old Ephraim (also called "Old Three Toes" due to a deformed foot), a male grizzly bear, was a very large bear that roamed the Cache National Forest circa 1911–23.
- An (unnamed) 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.
- Binky, a male polar bear at the Alaska Zoo in Anchorage, Alaska, 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.
- Brumas, a female polar bear (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 zoo attendance records. 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". Brumas died in May 1958.
- Flocke, a female polar bear, was born in captivity at the Nuremberg Zoo in Nuremberg, Germany on 11 December 2007. 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 became a popular tourist attraction at the zoo; her trademarked name and image were used in a publicity campaign for the metropolitan region of Nuremberg.
- Gus, a male 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 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.
- Inuka (Inuit for "Silent Stalker"), a male polar bear, was born in 1990, and one of the mascots of the Singapore Zoo.
- Knut, a male polar bear born in captivity at the Berlin Zoological Garden, was rejected by his mother at birth and 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.
- Monarch, a male California grizzly bear, was one of the last wild grizzly bears in California, United States. Monarch was captured in 1889 upon orders of newspaper editor William Randolph Hearst and was put on public display by Hearst at Woodward's Gardens in San Francisco. At the time he was thought to be the largest bear in captivity, and over 20,000 people came to see him on the first day of the exhibit. After his death, his stuffed body was used as the model for the bear on the California state flag.
- Pipaluk, a male polar bear, 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, a male polar bear, was born in November 2011. Abandoned by his mother, who produced insufficient milk to feed him, he was put into care at Skandinavisk Dyrepark (the Scandinavian Wildlife Park, Denmark). A YouTube video of him became an overnight sensation, and invited comparisons with Knut (polar bear).
- Wilbär, a male polar bear, was born at the Wilhelma Zoo in Stuttgart, Germany in 2007.
- National Geographic World, May 1999, cited and quoted by Jordan Carlton Schaul, "Inspired by Late Animal Actor 'Bart the Bear' - Vital Ground Protects Grizzly Bear Habitat", voices.nationalgeographic.com, Oct. 13, 2013, accessed May 15, 2015.
- "Bart the Bear". Wasatch Rocky Mountain Wildlife.
- "Bart the Bear 2". Wasatch Rocky Mountain Wildlife.
- Schwartz, Terri. "Game of Thrones cast a Bear". Zap2it. Retrieved 3 April 2013.
- "Vital Ground: Bart the Bear II and Honey Bump", Vitalground.org, accessed May 15, 2015.
- Beck, Ken, and Jim Clark. The Encyclopedia of TV Pets: A Complete History of Television's Greatest Animal Stars. Rutledge Hill Press, 2002, p. 160-161. ISBN 1-55853-981-6.
- "Gentle Ben: Season One". Retrieved January 15, 2015.
- Beck, Ken, and Jim Clark. The Encyclopedia of TV Pets: A Complete History of Television's Greatest Animal Stars. Rutledge Hill Press, 2002, p. 241-242. ISBN 1-55853-981-6.
- "Ronald Oxley, 46, Trainer of TV and Movie Animals, Dies." Los Angeles Times, Dec. 30, 1985, available online at latimes.com, accessed May 19, 2015.
- Anderson, George. "'Train Robbers' at Fulton, 'Judge Roy Bean' at Warner" (movie review), Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Feb. 8, 1973, p. 7.
- Billington, Dave. "The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean: Some Life! Some Times!" (movie review), Montreal Gazette, Feb. 17, 1973, accessed May 19, 2015.
- "1980: Missing Scottish bear is found". BBC News. 13 September 1980.
- "Montana Grizzly Encounter". Retrieved January 9, 2014.
- "Casey Anderson: Grizzly Bear Expert". Montana Travel. Retrieved January 9, 2013.
- Sharon Petzold (producer-writer), Sue Houghton (director) (2010). Grizzly Face to Face: Hollywood Bear Tragedy (television documentary). United States: National Geographic Channel.
- "Bear With Us". bearwithus.org. Retrieved January 9, 2014.
- Pincus, David. "The Amazing True Story of Victor, the Wrestling Bear." Deadspin.com, Feb. 27, 2014, accessed May 22, 2015.
- Rosenthal, Mark, et al. [https://books.google.com/books?id=cT3oa7mpGigC&pg=PA79&lpg=PA79#v=onepage&q&f=false The Ark in the Park: The Story of Lincoln Park Zoo. Univ. of Illinois, 2003, p. 79. ISBN 0-252-02861-9.
- "Parachuting Bear Leaves Army For Zoo," Tuscaloosa News, Oct. 24, 1954, p. 26.
- "Meet Casey Anderson - and his best friend, an 800-pound bear". LA Times. 2009-05-03. Retrieved 2015-05-14.
- Debra Killalea (2009-04-29). "Meet Brutus, the 800lb grizzly bear who likes to eat his meals at the dinner table | Mail Online". Dailymail.co.uk. Retrieved 2015-05-14.
- Monk, Katherine. "Sundance: Interactive film, Bear 71, blurs lines between wild and wired". canada.com (Postmedia News). Retrieved 25 January 2012.[dead link]
- 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.
- Hall, Allan (27 June 2006). "Outcry as Bruno the bear shot dead". The Scotsman (Edinburgh).
- "World famous black bear Hope is believed killed". Retrieved 22 August 2013.
- Zoological Society of London "Famous animals" webpage, accessed October 26, 2008
- Kleinfield, N.R. (28 August 2013). "Farewell to Gus, Whose Issues Made Him a Star". The New York Times. Retrieved 1 September 2013.
- Friend, Tad (24 April 1995). "It's a Jungle in Here". New York: 43–50. Retrieved 1 September 2013.
- Frost, Warwick (2010). Zoos and Tourism: Conservation, Education, Entertainment?. Channel View Publications. p. 51. ISBN 1845412079.
- Kifner, John (2 July 1994). "ABOUT NEW YORK;Stay-at-Home SWB, 8, Into Fitness, Seeks Thrills". The New York Times. Retrieved 1 September 2013.
- Moore, Tristana (23 March 2007). "Baby bear becomes media star". BBC. Retrieved 21 April 2007.
- 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.