This artefact of the month is not in the Library, but stands in London Zoo, close to the War Memorial.
The statue is of the bear Winnie, who was to be immortalised as Winnie the Pooh. The statue was presented to London Zoo by the people of Manitoba through their Government on 19th July 1995. The plaque reads:
Winnie and Lt. Colebourn
by Bill Epp
presented by the people
unveiled July 1995
On August 24th 1914, en route to the war in Europe, Lieutenant Harry Colebourn purchased a black bear cub at White River, Ontario, for $20 from a hunter who had killed its mother. He called her Winnie after his home town Winnipeg. Lt. Colebourn took her with him to England, where his regiment, the Second Canadian Infantry Brigade, was in training on Salisbury Plain. The bear became the pet of the soldiers and the mascot of the regiment. She was left at the Zoo for safekeeping on December 9th 1914 by Lt. Colebourn, when his regiment went to fight in France.
Lt. Colebourn’s original intention was to take Winnie back to Canada with him when the war was over; he would often visit her at the Zoo when on leave from the battle zones in France. However, when the war ended, Lt. Colebourn donated Winnie to ZSL London Zoo in appreciation of the care that had been taken of her in those years, and in recognition that Winnie had become a great favourite with visitors.
The author A.A. Milne and his son Christopher Robin frequently came to see Winnie. Milne decided to name his fictional character, Pooh Bear, after her, and so Winnie the Pooh was born.
This ZSL London Zoo record card is for Winnie, the bear that inspired A. A. Milne to create Winnie the Pooh.
Select a blog
Find out more about life in our B.U.G.S exhibit
Every month one of the pieces held in ZSL’s Library and at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo will feature here as Artefact of the month.
Get the latest on ZSL's conservation work in Asia.
A new Open Access journal for research at the interface of remote sensing, ecology and conservation.
See the latest ranges, updates and special offers from our exciting new online shop.
Excerpts from ZSL's award winning members' magazine.
A blog for lovers of ZSL London Zoo. Bringing you amazing animal facts and exclusive access to the world's scientific oldest zoo.
Discover more about the UK's biggest zoo with our fun blog posts!
Join the ZSL Discovery and Learning team as they venture out of the zoo and in to the wild.
Catch up on our latest Conservation Blogs
Follow the latest news on ZSL’s Arts & Culture projects at ZSL London and Whipsnade Zoos, and ZSL’s conservation work through the lens of the Arts.
ZSL Whipsnade Zoo's elephant keepers give an insight into the daily goings on in the elephant barn.
Read about conservation of tigers in Asia.
One man is boldly going where no other ZSL videographer has gone before - the land of Mountain Chicken Frogs.
From the field, to the lab, catch up with the scientists on the cutting edge of conservation biology at ZSL’s Institute of Zoology.
The Wildlife Wood Project has been working in Cameroon since 2007 to encourage better wildlife management in logging concessions.
Updates from penguin conservation expeditions to Antarctica
Amur leopard conservation blog
Meet ZSL Whipsnade Zoo's latest (and leggiest) arrival, a baby giraffe!
Follow the ZSL Biodiversity and Palm Oil team, based in Bogor, Indonesia.
The Chagos marine reserve, designated in 2010 and currently the world’s largest no take marine reserve, is a sought-after spot for marine research.
Follow ZSL conservationists studying desert baboons in Namibia.