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Sunday, 13 May 2012



The baiting of bears was a popular entertainment in England in the 17–18C. The baited animal was usually tethered to a post or put into a pit, and then attacked by dogs. Betting took place on the performance of individual dogs. The London theatres of the time had the form of an enclosed ring perfectly suited to animal baiting. The baiting of animals was not banned by law in Britain until 1835, but it was carried on in private for at least another 50 years.

Peter the Great of Russia (1672-1725) trained bears to serve alcoholic drinks to his guests.

English romantic poet Lord Byron kept a pet bear in his rooms at Cambridge, because he was not allowed a dog.

In 1962 a bear was ejected from a B-58 jet bomber at 870 mph to test whether humans could survive supersonic ejections. The bear then floated down via parachute from 35,000 feet over the course of 7 minutes, where it landed unharmed.

In April 2001, there were estimated to be fewer than 1,000 grizzly bears in the wild.


Winnie The Pooh's real name is Edward The Bear.

Smokey the Bear is based off an orphan bear rescued from a New Mexico wildfire in 1950.

A bear named Wojtek (see below) was officially drafted as a private in the Polish army during the Second World War. Originally a mascot, he lived with other soldiers in their tents, and helped at the Battle of Monte Cassino in Italy by transporting ammunition. After the war, Wojtek retired to Edinburgh Zoo where he would wave at visitors who spoke to him in Polish. He died aged 22 in December 1963. Kraków city council unveiled a statue of Wojtek in Park Jordana on 18 May 2014 - the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Monte Cassino.

Hercules, a trained grizzly bear that disappeared on a Scottish island while being filmed for a Kleenex TV advert, was finally recaptured after 24 days on the run on September 13, 1980.

Juan, an Andean spectacled bear made a bold bid to escape from Berlin zoo in 2004. Juan paddled across a moat using a log as a raft, scaled a wall and then finally appeared to commandeer a bicycle before before zookeepers with brooms cornered him, and a colleague picked him off with a tranquiliser gun.


There are eight species of bear: American black, polar, giant panda, Asiatic black, sloth bears, sun bears, spectacled bears and brown bears.

The giant panda is the only species of bear that does not move its ears to pick up sound.

The Andean bear, the inspiration for Paddington Bear, is the only bear native to South America.

A male bear is a boar; a female is a sow.

A group of bears is called a sleuth or sloth.

We call many things "bears" that aren't actually bears. Red pandas are "bear-cats" in Nepal, for example, and koalas are sometimes erroneously referred to as "koala bears."

Bears live in dens.

Bears have the largest relative brain size of any carnivore, and a study has found that black bears can count just as well as primates.

Grizzly bears can remember the faces of other bears they have not seen for ten years or more.

Grizzly Bears and Polar Bears can mate. Their offspring are referred to as "Pizzlies" and "Grolar Bears."

The smallest bear is the Malaysian sun bear, rarely more than 4 ft long, a good climber, whose favourite food is honey.

Some bears in Russia are hooked on jet fuel due to the leftover kerosene and gasoline containers in far-east regions.

Bears have 42 teeth.

A full-grown black bear can run as fast as a horse.

A black bear can smell seven times better than a bloodhound and a hundred times better than a human.

Though bears are classified as carnivores, most are omnivorous and the panda is almost entirely vegetarian.

Black Bears eat pine needles and hair to get stuck in their system on purpose. It forms up to a 30cm long anal plug that holds the food in them all winter, then they poop it out in the Spring.

Bears do not urinate while they hibernate. Their bodies convert urine into protein and use it as food.

The black bear is not always black. It can be brown, cinnamon, yellow, and sometimes a bluish color.

In the US, it is legal to own a brown bear in nine states. 

No bears are native to the continent of Australia. Koalas aren't bears, they are marsupials.

Sources History, Daily Express

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