• Fraser du Toit

Cocaine Bear - The True Story of Pablo Escobear

We all know that people love cocaine. Massive illegal business empires thrive on the white powder that turns regular people into obnoxious motormouths. Few drugs have climbed the corporate ladder with as much psychotic glee.

That brings us to the question burning a hole in every high-functioning crackhead's mind: Do bears like coke?



The Wrong Kind of Snow



Imagine you are a bear in the US state of Georgia. Strolling around, searching for berries and mammals to maul. You know true peace as your sense of purpose is driven by a summer full of snacking and a winter long snooze. Life is good in Chattahoochee National forest.

Suddenly it hits you. Not the thought that there's more to life, but a duffle bag. You snuffle around the bag and find it full of an edible scent. Ripping the bag open, you discover what appears to be a late shipment of snow from your cousins in the North Pole.

Well, you think, when do you ever get the chance to eat snow? You apply muzzle to snow and find it to be particularly thrilling snow. No bear before you has achieved this level of greatness, you assume. Suddenly your mind is flooded with a great idea for an app, and an ad campaign. You eat some more.

Uncertain of your limits, you commit to munching down the whole 75 pound (34 kg) bag. What follows is one glorious moment where you see beyond the fabric of space and time. Shortly after which, your heart goes into retirement, and you die.

At least, that's what people want you to believe.


By Now, You Have One Question: What?



So what actually happened to Pablo Escobear, the Cocaine Bear? According to Snopes.com, there was a dead bear found near a bag that had once contained around 75 pounds (34 kg) of cocaine.

It all happened in late 1985. The cocaine had been dropped by a would-be drug smuggler, one-time narcotics officer and short-lived idiot, Andrew Thornton II. He fancied himself a bit of a criminal genius.

Thornton flew up from Columbia with several duffle bags full of Cocaine in a small plane. He systematically dropped the bags from the plane as he flew over the Chattahoochee Forest. The final drop would be his own. Andrew Thornton didn't double-check whether he knew how to operate a parachute and fell to his death in the forest below.

Authorities found the wreckage of the plane and the wreckage of Andrew Thornton II around the same time. Soon they started finding bags bursting with cocaine. The final bag was found in December 1985.

Pablo Escobear was found dead near the remains of Thornton's final bag. Police assumed that the bear found the cocaine shortly after it was looted by local hikers. Authorities performed a necropsy (autopsy for animals) and found only 4 grams of cocaine in the bear's system.


Cocaine Bear 2023


Obviously, Pablo Escobear's story needs telling. In 2023, we'll get to watch it unfold on the big screen thanks to writer, Jimmy Warden, and Director Elizabeth Banks. Cocaine Bear, 2023, will be the last film released starring the late Ray Liotta.

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