‘Cocaine Bear’ will not be sold to Ripley’s Believe It or Not!

This image released by Universal Pictures shows a scene from "Cocaine Bear," directed by...
This image released by Universal Pictures shows a scene from "Cocaine Bear," directed by Elizabeth Banks. (Universal Pictures via AP)(Universal Pictures | AP)
Published: Mar. 6, 2023 at 5:06 PM EST
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WAVE) - A taxidermied bear, claiming to be the actual star of the Hollywood movie, Cocaine Bear, will not be sold to Ripley’s Believe It or Not!, the entertainment company confirmed.

Ripley’s had offered the owners of the stuffed animal, Kentucky for Kentucky, an undisclosed amount for its purchase.

On social media, the company posted the bear was not for sale.

Inspired by a true story, the film is about a bear who finds a Kentucky drug smuggler’s cocaine and overdoses, beat out its competitors on its opening weekend.

The movie and its star have gained an international following.

Kentucky Fun Mall in Lexington houses a stuffed bear who they’ve promoted as the actual animal who ate the cocaine.

The store’s story includes fascinating details of how they came to acquire the ill-fated beast, including Country Music Legend Waylon Jennings previously owning it.

An upcoming documentary, Blow: The True Story of Cocaine, a Bear and A Crooked Kentucky Cop, explores the history of the bear and found the real overdosed animal was never taxidermied.

Ripley’s Believe It or Not! had been in negotiations after polling its hundreds of thousands of followers.

According to a press release from Ripley’s, Kentucky for Kentucky posted on social media, “Oh, it is so on. Bring on the Brinks Truck, baby!”

The press release continues to state that since the film’s recent buzz, “Kentucky for Kentucky has received multiple offers, ranging from $10,000 to $300,000.”

“If we were to have moved forward with a formal offer, proof of authenticity and extensive research would have been required,” a spokesperson for Ripley’s said.

“Ripley’s acknowledges that some of Cocaine Bear’s lore remains unclear and has presented the story online with disclaimers for our audience. 

While Kentucky for Kentucky’s reply confirmed that the bear is not for sale, this piece of taxidermy has become part of that lore, be it authentic or not.”

One of the store’s owners, Garrett Wymer told WAVE Originals that without them, the movie would not have existed.

“Our taxidermy bear is 100% Cocaine Bear®,” Wymer wrote. “If you’re questioning whether our taxidermy bear is the exact one that overdosed, you have options regarding our Cocaine Bear: 1. If disbelief is your choice, then we created the most fantastic story ever. A story that carried it through hundreds of articles, podcasts, and memes that grew into a legend that lived in the public’s wildest dreams and fantasies. Our Cocaine Bear® has become a pilgrimage for thousands of worshipers worldwide. A story with a character so alluring, Cocaine Bear was made into a highly anticipated Universal Pictures Film.  2. If belief is your adventure, welcome to our beautiful Cocaine Bear® world. We love having you here. 3. Or choose both and enjoy this rip-roaring collective cultural moment!”

The WAVE Originals Documentary, Blow: The True Story of Cocaine, a Bear and A Crooked Kentucky Cop premiers March 10th. Click here on where to watch.