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GSMNP: black bear-wishbone

One of our softest and cuddliest bears. Wishbone is modeled after a real bear that lived in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This plush animal was created for educational purposes for young park lovers. He's a substantial fellow who will last a long time. He comes with an informational tag. A great gift for bear fans of all ages. 12" tall.


Over the years, many people have inquired about the history of a taxidermied black bear on display at Gatlinburg Welcome Center. The young bear is an especially attractive specimen with a white “wishbone” marking on his chest. Most bears in the Smokies are jet black, never brown or “cinnamon,” though a few have the white chest blazes.

Wishbone, a yearling, was killed by a car on Newfound Gap Road in the national park. Chances are it had been fed by people or had gotten used to eating scraps of food at one of the picnic areas or campgrounds. Having lost its fear of people, it was only a matter of time before Wishbone was struck by a car, shot by a poacher, or killed by a legal hunter outside.

Today, Wishbone exists as a reminder for park visitors to keep their food secured and away from bears.

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