If you haven’t heard of The Cocaine Bear, you will soon have. The story of a black bear who stumbled upon a cache of cocaine in the 1980s captured the attention of Hollywood and true crime enthusiasts alike. And now, this bizarre and unforgettable story is treated to the big screen everywhere on February 24, 2023.
It is important to note that while the origin story of The Cocaine Bear is based on actual events, the idea of the bear going on a wild, drug-fueled rampage is purely a figment of Hollywood’s imagination. There is no evidence to suggest that the bear exhibited any kind of violent behavior towards humans after consuming the drugs.
Cocaine Bear: The bizarre story of a black bear’s encounter with drug smuggling
In the early hours of September 11, 1985, a Cessna 404 plane took off from Colombia carrying Andrew Thornton and his team of smugglers. They had just completed their mission to smuggle a large amount of South American cocaine into the United States. But due to unforeseen circumstances, the landing in Georgia was not going to be smooth.
Approaching the airport, Thornton was flying too low and had to release some of the 40 plastic containers of cocaine weighing a total of 70 pounds to make the landing safer. Thornton threw the containers out of the plane, hoping to retrieve them later. The pilot then attempted to land the plane in a nearby meadow, but while trying to escape law enforcement, he fell out of the plane and died.
However, the containers fell in the Chattahoochee National Forest in northern Georgia. One of them opened, spilling the contents on the ground.
A few days later, a black bear was spotted in the same forest. The animal wandered into the area and came across one of the cocaine containers. The bear consumed the contents of the container and suffered a fatal overdose.
While the movie The Cocaine Bear may suggest otherwise, there is no hard evidence to suggest that the bear’s post-cocaine activities involved violence toward humans. In fact, no one was injured by the bear, despite its likely disorientation and erratic behavior due to the effects of the drug.
The bear’s body was discovered by hikers two days later. Officials recovered the remaining 39 containers of cocaine that Thornton had thrown from the plane, worth more than $15 million.
The incident attracted media attention and soon became a national sensation. The bear’s remains were preserved and became a tourist attraction at the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area museum in Georgia. Visitors flocked to see The Cocaine Bearand became a symbol of the bizarre and unexpected events that can occur in the world.
His story The Cocaine Bear has continued to capture the public’s imagination over the years. It has been the subject of numerous retellings, including a book by author Kevin Maher, a podcast and even a song by musician Ruston Kelly.
Most recently, it inspired a Hollywood film directed by Elizabeth Banks and starring Keri Russell. Entitled The Cocaine Bearthe film will tell the story of a group of hikers who discover the remains of the bear and become entangled in the dark world of drug smuggling.
His tragic and bizarre story The Cocaine Bear it’s a story that has captured the public’s imagination and will continue to fascinate people for years to come.