The Real Story Of The Cocaine Bear

By now, we have all seen the trailer for the new movie Cocaine Bear. And if you haven’t, here it is. It looks bonkers!

But whenever things say “Based on a True Story,” you do need to question how “True” the “True Story” part is. I mean, technically, if there was ever a bear that just lived in the woods, then this would still be “based” on a true story right?

Was there ever a real mountain bear that went on a cocaine bender? Surprisingly…YES…Sort of…

However the real story of the Cocaine Bear is much closer to “A Weekend With Charlie Sheen” than “A Weekend With Jason Voorhees”.


While the whole murderous rampage part of the story is fiction, the true story of the Cocaine Bear is still so crazy that it involves country music legend and Dukes of Hazzard musical hero Waylon Jennings! So maybe truth is stranger than fiction…

The real story of the Cocaine Bear took place in 1985.

Drug smuggler Andrew Thornton dropped a duffel bag full of 88 pounds of cocaine (worth $2 million) out of his small plane over the Chattahoochee National Forest. On the same flight Thornton later parachuted to his death.

credit: CNN

While searching for the air-dropped contraband, the Georgia Bureau of Investigations (G.B.I.) came across a dead black bear surrounded by 40 torn open one-kilogram packages of blow!

“The bear got to it before we could, and he tore the duffel bag open, got him some cocaine and OD’d (overdosed),” Per the G.B.I., according to the AP at the time.

So while there was no murderous rampage, the craziness of the Cocaine Bear story doesn’t end there.

Once the Georgia medical examiner was done with the investigation, he contacted a taxidermist to have the bear stuffed. From there, the bear was donated to the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area.

Then, probably just because the world likes to show that it has a sense of humor, the bear somehow made its way to a pawn shop where it was purchased by Dukes of Hazzard singer/songwriter Waylon Jennings.

From there, as all good drug-filled stories go, the bear somehow found its way to Las Vegas Nevada!

Some people just can’t handle Vegas…

Then after a quick stop in Reno, the black bear made the final leg of his journey to the Kentucky for Kentucky Fun Mall, where he currently resides to this day with a name tag around his neck that reads “Pablo EskoBear.”


So in this case “based on a true story” does apply….sort of.


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