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Dog Chews Its Way Through Elvis' £40,000 Teddy

August 02, 2006 | Other
A £40,000 teddy bear formerly owned by Elvis Presley was destroyed when a guard dog which was supposed to protect it went on the rampage. The rare Steiff bear, named Mabel, was due to form the centrepiece of an exhibition at Wookey Hole Caves in Somerset.

The bear was bought at auction in Memphis, Tennessee, by Somerset aristocrat Sir Benjamin Slade for £40,000 (around $75,000) and had been loaned to the collection, a Wookey Hole spokesman said.

The dog "went berserk" and ripped the head off the historic toy, he added. Security guard Greg West, 36, was on duty last night when his Dobermann, Barney, savaged the bear.

Mr West, from Bristol, said: "Barney has been a model guard dog for over six years. I still can't believe what happened.

"Either there was a rogue scent of some kind on Mabel which switched on Barney's deepest instincts, or it could have been jealousy - I was just stroking Mabel and saying what a nice little bear she was."

Daniel Medley, Wookey Hole general manager, said some of the bears were kept behind glass but Mabel was on a work surface because she had not yet gone on display.

As well as Mabel, bears worth around £20,000 were damaged as Barney ran amok in the Wookey Bear Collection.

Mr Medley said: "It's a disaster. The scene is just a horrific mess, with bits of teddy bear everywhere. "There are a good 100 bears scattered around all over the place." Mr Medley said Barney's future at the attraction was "uncertain". Sir Benjamin was not available for comment.
Jth wrote on August 02, 2006
For those interested a picture of the teddy bear, the one owned by Elvis and chewed up, is on CNN. But if I were the owner of the teddy bear, I would - just like the dog - go beserk!