Winnie-the-Pooh’s skull on show in London

Winnie-the-Pooh’s skull

From the Royal College of Surgeons in London, England:

Real Winnie-the-Pooh’s skull displayed at the Royal College of Surgeons

20 November 2015

Winnie-the-Pooh fans will have an opportunity to see the skull of the bear that inspired the much-loved character in A.A. Milne’s stories, at the Royal College of Surgeons’ Hunterian Museum.

Milne, who wrote one of the most popular collections of children’s stories: Winnie-the-Pooh and later The House at Pooh Corner, was a regular visitor to London Zoo. His son, Christopher, named his teddy bear Winnie after a Canadian black bear who lived in the zoo. Named Winnipeg, and Winnie for short, she was the inspiration for Winnie-the-Pooh.

This video from London days about itself:

The bear who inspired Winnie-the-Pooh

18 January 2014

Ever wondered how Winnie-the-Pooh got his name? This is the story of Winnie the bear, who arrived at ZSL London Zoo a hundred years ago and who inspired AA Milne‘s iconic honey-loving character.

The RCS article continues:

Visitors to the Royal College of Surgeons’ Hunterian Museum in London will be able to see Winnie’s skull and learn more about her.

Sam Alberti, Director of Museums and Archives at the Royal College of Surgeons, said:

“Winnie-the-Pooh remains one of the most popular children’s stories ever since Pooh Bear was brought to life on the pages of A.A Milne’s book in 1926.

“Children and adults who visit the Hunterian Museum will now have an opportunity to learn about the real Winnie and how she inspired A.A. Milne.

“Her story and presence in our collection are a reminder of how learning about animal health can enhance our understanding and care for species around the world.”

Soldier and trained vet, Captain Harry Colebourn bought Winnie when she was a bear cub, and he was en route to fight in the First World War. He had enlisted to look after the cavalry units and named her Winnipeg after his home city in Manitoba, Canada.

Cpt Colebourn’s regiment travelled to Europe at the beginning of the war and he brought Winnie as their mascot while they trained on the Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire. When the regiment was deployed to fight in France in 1914, he left Winnie at London Zoo.

Winnie lived through the war and was visited by A.A. Milne and his son Christopher. Photographs from this time show that Christopher was allowed in Winnie’s enclosure at the zoo. After the war, Cpt Colebourn donated Winnie to London Zoo, where she remained a popular attraction until she died of old age in May 1934.

During a recent review of the RCS’s collections, curators identified Winnie’s skull and the story of this treasured bear. Documents show that when Winnie died at the zoo, her skull was donated to Sir James Frank Colyer (1866-1954) the then curator of the Odontological Museum, which was part of the RCS collections. A dental surgeon, he was the first to report on dental variations and diseases in bears. He analysed a number of animal skulls from the Zoological Society of London to compile his comprehensive book on dental disease in animals (Colyer 1936. Variations and diseases of the teeth of animals).

At the time, Colyer noted in Winnie’s skull the loss of teeth, thickening of the alveolar process and sockets filled with bone. He associated this with Winnie’s extremely old age and her food habits. Recent examination of the skull shows that Winnie suffered from chronic periodontitis (an inflammation and/or loss of connective tissues supporting or surrounding the teeth). Colyer’s book, and the skulls featured in it (including Winnie’s), have now become valuable research specimens for biologists and zoo vets who need to treat captive animals for dental diseases.

See also here.

United States police save black bear cub

This video from the USA says about itself:

19 August 2015

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Police officers in Colorado Springs came to the rescue of a [black] bear cub that got its head stuck in a plastic protein powder bottle early Tuesday morning.

It happened just after 5 a.m. when officers saw the cub at West Kiowa and North 14th streets.

The officers tried to remove the bottle but couldn’t, so the put the cub in the back of the patrol car and took her to a fire station, where a Colorado Parks and Wildlife ranger sedated the bear, the Colorado Springs Police Department said.

Firefighters were able to remove the bottle with rescue tools. Wildlife officials tagged and released the bear “in hopes that she will be reunited with mama bear,” police said.

See also here.

Great news! Police in the USA should do more like that; not like this.

Before Cecil the lion, Walter Palmer poached American black bear

Walter Palmer, crossbow and poached black bear in 2008, photo: Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

From ABC News in the USA:

See Photos of Black Bear Illegally Hunted by Dentist Walter Palmer Who Killed Cecil the Lion

Aug 13, 2015, 8:19 PM ET


Photos recently obtained by ABC News’ “20/20” show Minnesota dentist Dr. Walter Palmer posing with the large black bear he illegally killed while hunting in Wisconsin in 2006.

ABC News’ “20/20” obtained photos through a Freedom of Information Act request.

Watch the full story on ABC News’ “20/20” on Friday, Aug. 14 at 10 p.m. ET.

Palmer has been avoiding the public eye since the world learned that he killed Cecil, a well-known 13-year-old male lion, just outside Hwange National Park in Hwange, Zimbabwe. He allegedly paid veteran safari guide Theo Bronkhorst at least $50,000 to help him bag a big lion in Zimbabwe when he went on safari last month. In an interview with the British newspaper The Telegraph, Bronkhorst said their hunt was delayed and he and Palmer instead went to hunt on a farm abutting Hwange National Park, rather than an approved area.

An accomplished bow hunter, Palmer has hunted big game around the world, including moose, deer, buffalo, mountain lions and even a polar bear, according to the New York Times. And he had gotten into trouble in the past.

In 2003, Palmer was convicted of a misdemeanor in Otter Tail County, Minnesota, for fishing without a license and paid a small fine. Three years later, in September 2006, Palmer was hunting black bear in northern Wisconsin when he shot a bear in an area where he wasn’t allowed to hunt, shown in these photos below.

According to court documents, Palmer had a permit to kill a bear in one county, but he shot the bear 40 miles from away in an area where he did not have a permit to hunt.

“As soon as the bear was killed, Palmer and the three guys he was with — guides — they agreed they would lie about it,” U.S. Attorney John Vaudreuil told “20/20.”

Vaudreuil got involved when Palmer took the bear across state lines back to Minnesota.

“He was lying to us. He was offering to pay, it turns out, about $20,000 to keep the others who were in the hunt, to have them lie, so that’s a fairly aggressive cover-up,” Vaudreuil said.

But the bear guides didn’t lie to authorities. In 2008, Palmer pleaded guilty to felony charges of making false statements to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service about the black bear he shot and killed outside of the authorized hunting zone, according to court documents. He paid $2,938 in fines and was sentenced to a year of probation.

In connection with Cecil the lion’s death, Zimbabwe’s environment, water and climate minister, Oppah Muchiniguri, said at a news conference last month that the Zimbabwe government was seeking to extradite Palmer for hunting without the proper permits. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has opened its own investigation. …

Police arrested Bronkhorst, and he and a farm landowner named Honest Trymore Ndlovu are facing criminal poaching charges in connection with Cecil‘s death. Bronkhorst told authorities that Palmer fired the final blow that killed Cecil.

Cecil the lion: Dentist Walter Palmer tried to BRIBE guides to ‘cover-up’ his illegal bear hunt: here. And here.

Walter Palmer’s Odyssey Didn’t Begin With Cecil — Dentist Allegedly Made Habit Of Illegal Hunting: here.

Syrian brown bear cub at Armenian camera trap

This video says about itself:

Surprised bear cub in Armenia

17 July 2015

A young Syrian Brown Bear is surprised by a camera trap but soon musters enough courage to take a closer look.

From Wildlife Extra about this:

Rare footage of a Syrian Brown Bear surprised by a camera trap in Armenia

A rare young Syrian Brown Bear was taking a walk in the woods of Armenia’s Caucasus Wildlife Refuge when he came across a camera trap that first startled and then intrigued him.

The rare footage was caught by the Foundation for the Preservation of Wildlife and Cultural Assets (FPWC) on a camera installed with funding from the World Land Trust (WLT).

There are only around 150 Syrian Brown Bears surviving in Armenia and the populations are being monitored and their behaviour studied with the help of the camera traps.

In the Caucasus Refuge there are thought to be as few as two or three bears, which is also home to Bearded Vultures, Bezoar Goats and the endangered Caucasian Leopard.

The main threat facing Syrian Brown Bears in the area are habitat loss to agriculture, mining and quarries, and conflict with farmers over bee hives and fruit growing.

Two new areas of mountain habitat were recently purch[a]sed with the help of WLT, to further extend the potential safe havens for the bears.

Alaskan grizzly bears catching salmon on webcams

This video about Alaska is called The Land of Giant Bears | Full Documentary.

From in the USA in July 2015:

Watch Live As Grizzlies Catch Salmon

Salmon are running in Alaska and Brooks Falls in Katmai National Park may be the best place to watch local bears gorge themselves on fresh caught salmon. has a number of webcams on the scene and you can almost always observe a bear or two (or three or four!) in action.

Brown bear bones discovery in the Netherlands

This video says about itself:

17 March 2014

The awe-inspiring brown bear lives in the forests and mountains of northern North America, Europe, and Asia. It is the most widely distributed bear in the world.

Translated from Staatsbosbeheer in the Netherlands:

Thursday, May 28, 2015 12:12

During recent archaeological field surveys in the dunes of the Kop van Schouwen bones of the brown bear were found by archaeologists of the AWN Association of Volunteers in Archaeology. This find is spectacular to mention, because since 1940 only a pierced bear’s tooth had been found in the province of Zeeland until now.

Living locally

A pierced bear’s tooth may have been brought as an amulet by people from elsewhere, but the discovery of the bones probably reflects the actual local occurrence of the brown bear. Expert Dick Mol ruled that the remains are indeed of a young brown bear.


When the bear was living in Zealand must still be precisely determined. Until now it was known that until the High Middle Ages (10th to 12th century) bears still lived in the Benelux countries. C14 dating can clarify the precise age of the bones.

See also here.