Guard Dog Takes the Stuffing Out of Prized Bear Collection

Security guard Greg West of Wookey Hole Caves in England with Barney, a Doberman pinscher who went on a rampage Tuesday and ripped apart a collection of rare teddy bears, including one once owned by Elvis Presley.
Security guard Greg West of Wookey Hole Caves in England with Barney, a Doberman pinscher who went on a rampage Tuesday and ripped apart a collection of rare teddy bears, including one once owned by Elvis Presley. (Wookey Hole Caves Photo Via Associated Press)

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Associated Press
Thursday, August 3, 2006

LONDON, Aug. 2 -- A guard dog has ripped apart a collection of rare teddy bears, including one once owned by Elvis Presley, during a rampage at a children's museum.

"He just went berserk," said Daniel Medley, general manager of Wookey Hole Caves near Wells, England, where hundreds of bears were chewed up Tuesday night by the 6-year-old Doberman pinscher named Barney.

The rampage, in which Barney ripped the head off a brown stuffed bear owned by the young Presley, left fluffy stuffing and bears' limbs and heads on the museum floor. Presley's bear, named Mabel, was made in 1909 by the German manufacturer Steiff.

The collection was valued at more than $900,000 and included a red bear made by Farnell in 1910 and a Bobby Bruin made by Merrythought in 1936.

The bear linked to Elvis was owned by English aristocrat Benjamin Slade, who bought it at an Elvis memorabilia auction in Memphis and had lent it to the museum. "I've spoken to the bear's owner and he is not very pleased at all," Medley said.

A museum security guard, Greg West, said he chased Barney and wrestled the dog to the ground.


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