On this day: the death of Winnipeg the bear

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Winnie in 1914 X

Winnipeg (or Winnie), a female black bear from Canada and the inspiration for Winnie-the-Pooh, died in London Zoo on the 12th of May, 1934. She was twenty at the time.

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Winnie and Harry Colebourn X

Winnie was purchased as an orphaned cub at a train stop in Ontario in 1914. She was bought for $20 by Harry Colebourn, a twenty-seven year old veterinarian who had volunteered for World War One and was on his way to report for duty. He named her after his hometown of Winnipeg, Manitoba.

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Winnie plays with Canadian soldiers during WW1.

Winnie, who became a military mascot, was kept in London for the years Colebourn served in the war, and he eventually donated her to the zoo.

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Winnie-the-Pooh makes a debut on Christmas Eve, 1925. X

The inspiration for Winnie-the-Pooh came after creator A. A. Milne’s son Christopher Robin visited the bear at the zoo and changed the name of his toy bear from “Edward Bear” to “Winnie the Pooh”.

On this day: a dictator and his pet

Italian Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini photographed with his pet lion cub, Ras on the 16th of February, 1924. He would run Italy for another twenty-one years before being captured and executed alongside his mistress Clara Petacci. His wife was elsewhere at the time.

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Theodore Roosevelt’s Safari

Theodore Roosevelt became the United States’ 26th President on the 14th of September, 1901.

Once he finished his presidency in 1909 he went on an eleven-month safari where he trapped or shot over 11 000 animals, including this rhinoceros. The hunting was sponsored by the Smithsonian Institution.

After serving as US President, Theodore Roosevelt went on a safari and trapped or shot over 11 000 animals.