The unbelievable true story behind film about a bear who ate 70lbs of cocaine
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Featured Image Credit: Universal Pictures
Ever since the trailer for Cocaine Bear dropped, movie fans have been going wild about the upcoming movie.
But perhaps what's got chins wagging the most is that the plot is loosely based on a true story.
To put this into context, take a look at the trailer:
Meanwhile, the synopsis reads: "An oddball group of cops, criminals, tourists, and teens converge in a Georgia forest where a 500-pound black bear goes on a murderous rampage after unintentionally ingesting cocaine."
Proving truth is often stranger than fiction, director Elizabeth Banks' upcoming comedy horror is based on the real-life case of a drug-smuggling plot gone wrong.
At the centre of the bust was Andrew Thornton, a former narcotics officer and lawyer who became the head member of a drug-smuggling ring in Kentucky known as 'The Company'.
That side of the story alone is enough to be the basis of a film – but things took an even more outrageous turn in 1985.
While on a drugs run from Colombia, Thornton dumped packages of the Class A near Blairsville in Georgia before jumping from an auto-piloted plane.
His body was later discovered in the driveway of a residential home in Knoxville, with the Georgia Bureau of Investigations suggesting he may have hit his head on the aircraft tail and failed to open his parachute before plunging to the ground.
When authorities attended the scene, they discovered Thornton to be wearing a bulletproof vest and Gucci loafers.
He also had night vision goggles, a wad of cash, knives, two pistols and, let's not forget, a duffel bag filled with millions of dollars' worth of cocaine.
But this wouldn't be the only drugs-stuffed duffel bag in this story.
You see, three months later, after tracking the flightpath of Thornton's plane, officers discovered the now infamous 175-pound black bear dead in the Chattahoochee National Forest.
A number of empty packets were scattered around the animal, and they soon realised it had ingested one of ten duffel bags containing the contraband.
Unsurprisingly, it had overdosed, having eaten a whopping 70 pounds of cocaine.
Unlike the film, in which the bear goes on a murderous rampage, it sounds like it suffered a truly horrific and pretty instant death.
The medical examiner who looked inside the bear said: "Its stomach was literally packed to the brim with cocaine. There isn't a mammal on the planet that could survive that.
"Cerebral haemorrhaging, respiratory failure, hyperthermia, renal failure, heart failure, stroke. You name it, that bear had it."
You might be interested to know this isn't the end of the tale for the animal, who's been dubbed 'Pablo Eskobear' – it was later stuffed and can be seen at the Kentucky For Kentucky store in Lexington.
It's only fitting that such a larger-than-life story should get its own movie, and thankfully now we don't have to wait long until the bluntly titled Cocaine Bear drops.
February 24, 2023 – get it in the diary, folks.
Topics: Film & TV, Drugs, Film and TV, Animals, Weird