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Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Makes Offer to Purchase the Real Cocaine Bear

If added to Ripley’s collection of oddities and historical artifacts, Cocaine Bear would be among some of history’s most curious hibernators!

Press Release

Feb 28, 2023 09:30 EST

Thanks to a video asking Kentucky for Kentucky, a state-devoted souvenir shop in Lexington, to name their price, Ripley’s Believe It or Not! is now in negotiations to purchase Cocaine Bear, the taxidermied bear that inspired Elizabeth Banks’ latest film based on a 175-pound black bear who consumed 75 pounds of the drug. 

Responding on Instagram, Kentucky for Kentucky commented, “Oh, it is so on. Bring on the Brinks Truck, baby!” but Ripley’s has some competition. Since the film’s recent buzz, Kentucky for Kentucky has received multiple offers, ranging from $10,000 to $300,000.

With over five million followers across social platforms, Ripley’s reached an audience of 250,000 on Facebook and Instagram, polling them on whether the company should try and acquire Cocaine Bear or not. A strong 77.5% of followers agreed – Cocaine Bear is Ripley-worthy.

Ripley’s fans across social media have tried to put a price tag on the trending taxidermy, from “priceless” to estimating the current street value of the drugs ingested. With that input, Ripley’s has decided to offer an undisclosed amount.

Ripley’s also touts that, if added to its collection of oddities and historical artifacts, Cocaine Bear would be among some of history’s most curious hibernators, like a black bear found with a tire around its waist currently on display at Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Gatlinburg; a grizzly trained in the Russian circus to ride a bicycle; a Kodiak who came face-to-face with a porcupine from Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Amsterdam; and prehistoric cave bear skeletons. 

Cocaine Bear has gone on quite the journey since he was discovered in 1985, from storage facilities to pawn shops, even by way of country star Waylon Jennings – finally landing at the Kentucky for Kentucky Fun Mall in 2015, where they have worked hard to preserve the story of Cocaine Bear and warn visitors on the dangers of drug abuse.

Ripley’s offer is now in the hands of Kentucky for Kentucky.

For more information on Cocaine Bear’s unbelievable history visit https://www.ripleys.com/weird-news/cocaine-bear.

Source: Ripley Entertainment Inc.

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