Saturday, November 27, 2010

The Original Real Life Winnie-The-Poo, Bear Of 1914

Was the real life Winnie-The-Pool a grizzly bear, a black bear or hokkaido brown bear?  You say you didn't even know he existed and was a figment of someone's imagination? make your choice, and you might even want to guess its nationality as well.   An American brown bear you say or perhaps Russian?  Nope.  The fact is the original real life Winnie-The-Poo WAS NOT BROWN AT ALL  and you guessed correctly by not considering his colour was white, as in polar bear,  but the real actual colour of  "Winnie"  was black.

Here's  the background of this caniform creature. Winnie was purchased from a hunter in 1914 in White River, Ontario Canada by  Lieutenant Harry Colebourn while on the way to England during the First World War. "Winnie" was a short form for Colebourn's  hometown of Winnipeg, Manitoba.  Colebourn  took the bear to England and became accepted as The Fort Gary Horse regiment mascot. While the Lieutenant served in France, "Winnie" was provided a home at the London Zoo, where he was later donated to.

It was a common site to see "Winnie" giving children piggie back rides around the zoo and eating treats from their hands. One young boy, Christopher Robin developed a great affection for the bear who had even spent time in its cage.  Longing to take it home, Christopher's father, A. A. Mine, promised rather to write cute little bear stories for his son to enjoy.

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  1. A post after my own heart!!! :-)...I've always been fond of the 'Pooh Bear'...maybe it's his captivating quality of cuteness...afterall his insatiable appetite for hunny goes without saying...they say, 'you are what you eat'...what a bear...he's just sooo sweet!!! :-)

  2. I agree Becky. I always knew you had a soft heart for Whinney... All through your childhood years and even now... I guess cause you're so sweet. :) Very well articulated Bob as always. The photo's are amazing. It makes me want to have a Black Whinney the Pooh, now. :)

  3. Well Faye we've got a grey Zola The Cat, [a real one] and you want a Black Whinnie The Poo? A real one? I guess that would be the ultimate security for our home....instead of a big dog I guess a big black bear would be much better LOL :) [kidding or course]

  4. Wow thanks for sharing. I've loved Pooh since I was a kid! I never imagined he was a real bear. Well, he seemed to be as sweet as the character he inspired. :)

  5. Thanks for the comment Ajpoliquit! Yeah I didn't know Winnie was in reality a bear either until a friend a few weeks back informed me of such. He sugguested I should do a blog piece about it which I very much enjoyed doing :)

  6. hi my name is will and i have a old album of of all the boys in the war with winnie the pooh bear with them i want some information on this can u please email crystallangdon.34@gmail with some info please