LEXINGTON, Ky (LEX 18) Lately we’ve been reporting about black bear sightings around the Commonwealth, but you can see the bear tied to one of Kentucky’s greatest conspiracies on display right here in Lexington.
Cocaine Bear spent years on the road but now he’s mounted on the back of a pick-up truck in Kentucky for Kentucky’s Fun Mall.
Whit Hyler, the co-owner of Kentucky for Kentucky, says that they only had to pay for shipping to get the bear to Kentucky from the Nevada Desert.
People are coming from all over the world to see the famous Cocaine Bear.
The bear’s story dates back to 1985, when Andrew Thornton, a true Kentucky Blue Blood, turned drug smuggler parachuted to his death over Tennessee with cocaine strapped to his body.
A black bear ate 75 pounds worth of cocaine that Thornton dropped in Georgia’s Chattahoochee Forest.
The bear overdosed and died from the estimated $15 million worth of cocaine.
The Cocaine Bear was stuffed and sold to the great Waylon Jennings, who didn’t even know the Cocaine Bear’s story; he was just a collector of such items.
Jennings sent the bear as a gift to his friend in Nevada. When that friend died, “Pablo EskoBear,” as he is now known, was then sold to a pawn shop.
Hyler located the bear and the pawn shop gave it to him.
“They just wanted to get rid of it. They were over it,” said Hyler.
He paid for the shipping, and now the bear that plays an important role in the book, ‘The Bluegrass Conspiracy’ is on Bryan Avenue.
Hyler says that Thorton’s story took play in and around Lexington.
Kentucky for Kentucky is working on giving Pablo EskoBear his own section where there will be Cocaine Bear gear.
You can see the Cocaine Bear at the Kentucky for Kentucky Fun Mall from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Monday-Friday.