WTF Fun Fact 13268 – Cocaine Bear is a Real Story (Mostly)

Have you seen previews for a strange-looking moving called Cocaine Bear and wondered what is going on? Well, you might be shocked to know that cocaine bear is a real story.

What is cocaine bear?

In 1985, a black bear in Georgia ingested more than 70 pounds of cocaine. The drugs had been dropped from a drug smuggler’s airplane. The bear, later dubbed “Cocaine Bear,” was found dead in the woods. The bizarre story has become something of a legend. People clearly remain fascinated by the unlikely chain of events that led to the bear’s demise.

According to a recent New York Times article (cited below), the incident began when drug smuggler Andrew ThorntonThornton’suring a parachute jump after a drug trafficking operation went wrong. Thornton had been carrying several duffel bags filled with cocaine. As he fell to his death, the bags tore open and their contents scattered across the forest.

Days later, authorities found a bear dead in the woods near the site of Thornton’s fatal fall. A necropsy later revealed that the bear had ingested a large amount of cocaine and had died as a result.

The story has become something of a pop culture phenomenon in recent years. Now, Hollywood has released a movie based on the incident, with Elizabeth Banks directing and Keri Russell in the lead role. The movie is a fictionalized retelling of the incident.

What’s fictional about the story?

Cocaine bear is a true story up to a point. The film’s writers invented the killing spree plotline. We don’t actually know what happened to the bear in its final days anLexington’st we do know that it didn’t kill anyone.

Despite the sensational nature of the story, the incident is a reminder of the dangers of drug trafficking and the tragic consequences that can occur when individuals engage in such activities.

Where is the bear now?

Oddly enough, the bear appears to be on display in Lexington’s Kentucky for Kentucky Fun Mall. In an August 2015 blog post, the mall staff said the stuffed bear was once owned by the country singer Waylon Jennings. The rumor is that he kept it in his home in Las Vegas, but the NYT was unable to verify that part of the story.

Another partly true and strange fact about the bear is that its taxidermied body has the authority to officiate legally binding weddings. According to Wikipedia:

“This claim is only partly true; the bear does not have the authority to solemnize weddings, but the state of Kentucky cannot invalidate marriages performed by unqualified persons if the parties believe that the person marrying them has the authority to do so. As such, it is a belief in the Cocaine Bear’s authority that allows it to officiate legally binding weddings in Kentucky.”

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Source: “Yes, ‘Cocaine Bear’ Was Real. Here’s the Back Story.” — The New York Times


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