South Scotland

Wojtek the bear statue plan for Duns considered

Wojtek Image copyright Other
Image caption Wojtek was billeted at an army camp in the Borders after the war

A life-size statue of a beer-drinking bear who saw action during World War Two could be erected in the Borders town of Duns.

The community council is investigating the costs of transporting a 60kg (9st 6lb) model of Wojtek from Poland.

The bear was brought to Berwickshire by Polish soldiers during World War Two after being "adopted" by troops in Iran.

A statue of him is being gifted to Duns by its twin town of Zagan.

Statues of the "soldier bear" are already on display in Krakow and at the Sikorski Museum in London.

A bronze statue of Wojtek is planned for Princes Street Gardens in Edinburgh.

Wojtek was rescued as a cub in the Middle East in 1943.

The Polish soldiers adopted him and as he grew he was trained to carry heavy mortar rounds.

At the end of the war the bear - who had also learned how to smoke and drink beer - was billeted at an army camp in the Scottish Borders.

When the Polish soldiers were demobilised he was taken to Edinburgh Zoo where he eventually died in 1963.

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