Cocaine Bear is a real movie, and despite the fact that its premise—that a bear eats cocaine and goes on a rampage—seems like an April Fools’ Day joke, Cocaine Bear is based on a true story. A bear consumes 75 pounds of cocaine in Elizabeth Banks’ newest film, Cocaine Bear.
When the Cocaine Bear movie debuts on February 24th, 2023, the plot already seems ludicrous, but in a way that bodes well for a big commercial success. As bizarre as it may seem, bears have really been known to consume cocaine. In 1985, Kentucky and Georgia were where the real-life events of the Cocaine Bear occurred.
In an unsuccessful effort, a drug smuggler dropped a load of cocaine from a small plane over Georgia’s Chattahoochee National Forest. While the real-life cocaine-eating bear never lived to retrieve the box, he didn’t quite go on the bloody rampage that Elizabeth Banks’ Cocaine Bear movie depicts. Here is Cocaine Bear’s unexpectedly depressing true origin tale.
Is Cocaine Bear Based on A True Story?
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Yes, a Real-Life Event Was the Basis for Cocaine Bear.
In December 1985, a 175-pound black bear was discovered dead after consuming at least three to four grams of cocaine dropped from a plane by a convicted drug smuggler, who later perished due to a malfunctioning parachute.
Although the real-life bear was not found dead next to an empty duffel bag that authorities believe formerly contained cocaine, unlike what the movie’s plot claims, it did not go on a violent rampage in its final hours. Furthermore, 40 packages, or $20 million worth of the narcotic, were discovered ripped open, and scattered throughout the neighborhood.
In other words, following what appeared to be a failed drug smuggling, there was a bear high on cocaine. However, we are not precisely sure what this high bear was up to while under the influence, especially given that its body wasn’t discovered until four weeks after it overdosed.
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The History of Cocaine Bear Involves Smuggling and a Plane Crash
The real story of Cocaine Bear starts with a man named Andrew Thornton II, who worked for the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) before leaving his position and turning into a smuggler. He had thousands of dollars in cash, numerous guns, and — most significantly — several dozen pounds of cocaine when his aircraft, which was over Georgia, ran into difficulty.
He was discovered in the driveway of a local and lost his life while trying to land due to getting caught in a parachute. The investigators eventually connected the dots after the titular bear was discovered dead a quarter year later.
Despite only having a minor amount of cocaine in its bloodstream when it passed away, the medical examiner determined that the bear consumed a total of seventy-five pounds (34 kilograms) of cocaine that Thornton had thrown.
There were no additional fatalities, in contrast to the movie’s plot. A variety of publications, from neighborhood dailies to The New York Times, reported the tale, which briefly became a cause célèbre.
Then, around ten years later, the Internet was invented, and Cocaine Bear began to appear in modern myth. The bear’s remains were later preserved in taxidermy, and they are now on display at Lexington, Kentucky’s Kentucky Fun Mall, where Thornton intended to deliver his goods.
“Cocaine and a Dead Bear”
Under the heading “Cocaine and a Dead Bear,” The New York Times published an article about the incident in December 1985. The publication stated the following: According to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, a 175-pound black bear died from an apparent cocaine overdose after finding a quantity of the substance.
According to reports, the cocaine was dropped from a plane by Andrew Thornton, a convicted drug dealer who passed away on September 11 in Knoxville, Tennessee, from complications related to a load that was too heavy for him to carry while parachuting.
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A medical examiner determined that the animal had consumed “three to four grams of cocaine” into its circulation and may have eaten more after it was discovered dead in the highlands near the Tennessee border.
However, there is no information on what occurred between the bear taking the medicines and passing away, and this is where the film provides gruesome filler. On February 24, 2023, Cocaine Bear will be released on video.