“Cocaine Bear” was all the rage on social media after details of a film based on the wacky real-life story of how an unlucky bear od’d on coca were announced earlier this week.
Below, here’s everything we know about the bizarre story of ‘the cocaine bear’.
What is bear cocaine?
In 1985, a wild 175-pound black bear grabbed its paws on a packet of contraband cocaine. People nicknamed the unlucky mammal “Pablo EskoBear”.
Sadly, the wild bear was found dead in the Chattahoochee National Forest in Georgia following a cocaine overdose after consuming the narcotic. The medical examiner who performed an autopsy (animal autopsy) on the bear was stunned by his findings.
“His stomach was literally filled to the brim with cocaine,” he told Kentucky For Kentucky. “There isn’t a mammal on the planet that could survive this. Brain hemorrhage, respiratory failure, hyperthermia, kidney failure, heart failure, stroke. You name it, that bear had it.”
The incident took place in Georgia, but also has ties to Tennessee and Kentucky.
The bear was then taxidermized and had several owners before being sold to the Kentucky Fun Mall in Lexington, where it is now a tourist attraction.
How did Cocaine Bear get Coke?
The bear ingested the illegal substance after cocaine courier Andrew C. Thorton II dropped sports bags filled with cocaine before parachuting out of a plane. After crossing the plots in the woods, the bear ingested more than 80 pounds of party drugs.
The bear was found just south of the Tennessee-Georgia state border, three months after the fall. Apparently, the bear managed to open the tenth drug bag before he died next door.
What happened to Andrew C. Thorton II?
Andrew C. Thorton II was a Lexington narcotics officer before changing careers and becoming a lawyer. In 1981, he was charged with conspiring to smuggle half a ton of marijuana into the United States and stealing weapons from a naval base before becoming a fugitive and being arrested. He was wearing a bulletproof vest and a pistol at the time of his arrest. He only managed to get six months in prison, a suspended legal license and a fine.
The bear incident took place in 1985 while Thorton was being smuggled from Columbia, when he dropped cocaine into Georgia from his plane. He parachuted the plane but his parachute got tangled and the fall ended up killing him.
His body landed on an alley in Knoxville, Tennessee.
Who is working on the movie Cocaine Bear?
Elizabeth Banks will be directing a Universal Pictures film based on the story of the cocaine bear. Lego Movie filmmakers Phil Lord and Chris Miller will co-produce the thriller. It should be released in 2022.