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The Incredible Story of Wojtek, the Soldier Bear

Illustration for article titled The Incredible Story of Wojtek, the Soldier Bear

An Iranian boy found a Syrian brown bear cub in 1942, and sold it to the 22nd Artillery Supply Company of the Polish II Corps for canned meat. That's how the story of the most famous military animal started.

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Illustration for article titled The Incredible Story of Wojtek, the Soldier Bear

Having lost his mother, the bear was fed with milk from an emptied vodka bottle.

Illustration for article titled The Incredible Story of Wojtek, the Soldier Bear
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Illustration for article titled The Incredible Story of Wojtek, the Soldier Bear
Illustration for article titled The Incredible Story of Wojtek, the Soldier Bear
Illustration for article titled The Incredible Story of Wojtek, the Soldier Bear
Illustration for article titled The Incredible Story of Wojtek, the Soldier Bear
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Wojtek (or Voytek, which means 'he who enjoys war' or 'smiling warrior') was often rewarded with beer, but he liked smoking and eating cigarettes, too.

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He enjoyed wrestling and could salute.

Illustration for article titled The Incredible Story of Wojtek, the Soldier Bear
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Illustration for article titled The Incredible Story of Wojtek, the Soldier Bear

Wojtek helped during some bloody battles (including the four-month Battle of Monte Cassino) to carry mortar shells.

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Illustration for article titled The Incredible Story of Wojtek, the Soldier Bear

He was officially enlisted: he was given a name, a rank, and a number.

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After the end of WWII, the bear and his fellow troops were stationed in Hutton, Scotland, but in November 1947, the bear was moved to the Edinburgh Zoo, where it lived out its days. Wojtek died in December 1963.

Illustration for article titled The Incredible Story of Wojtek, the Soldier Bear
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(via WW2 Airsoft, The Soldier Bear, bigpicture.ru, mikeeliasz, jkorowicz, BBC, Oddity Central, Retronaut)

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DISCUSSION

flyfunner5
flyfunner5

The picture of him holding the bottle looks so fake.

Also, I wish there was an English translation of the scottish documentary about him.