Bears and Man

Teddy bears are said to have been “invented” by an entrepreneur when US President Roosevelt made front page news for refusing to shoot a bear which had been provided for the purpose. However bears and humans have had a much longer cultural association than that, and as the photograph shows, those designed to appeal to children have little in common with wild animals like polar bears and grizzly bears, which can be extremely dangerous to people. In children’s stories bears can talk, be kind, and live in houses eating porridge and honey; but in real life, probably the only one you would want your child to go near is a ‘koala bear’ – and they are not bears at all, but mis-named marsupials!