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A drug-snaffling bear that went on a deadly cocaine-fuelled rampage has been turned into a Hollywood movie.
In Georgia, US, a black bear became the stuff of legend when it helped itself to class A drugs that quite literally fell high from the sky in 1985.
It was reported at the time that no mammal on earth could have consumed so much cocaine let alone survive it, and ultimately that rang true with the eventual death of a killer beast.
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Millions of pounds worth of cocaine dropped to the ground from a flight carrying lawyer and police officer turned drug smuggler, Andrew Thornton, 40.
A five stone duffel bag stuffed with cocaine was hurled out of a Cessna plane by Thornton who was returning from a smuggling run to Colombia and part of his plan was to drop packages off in northern Georgia.
When Thornton tried to exit the plane the same way, the son of wealthy Kentucky horse breeders “hit his head on the tail of the aircraft” and failed to open his parachute.
The drug smuggler fell to his death at the same time that life for one black bear was about to change dramatically.
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A bag stashed with £12million worth of cocaine was torn open by a curious bear who managed to empty 40 packets of the stuff before fatally overdosing.
The beast, now known as Cocaine Bear or Pablo Eskobear in some circles, was found dead surrounded by torn-open and cleaned-out drug packaging.
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According to the Georgia Bureau of Investigations, Thornton's body was found in Knoxville, Tennessee, wearing night vision goggles, a bulletproof vest and Gucci loafers.
He also had $4,500 (£3,700) in cash on him, two guns, several knives and a key to the plane.
Thornton's unoccupied aircraft was later found in a wreckage several hours away in the mountains of North Carolina.
Investigators retraced the plane’s flight path and discovered nine duffel bags full of cocaine, the Independent reports.
It was not for another three months that the black bear's carcass was discovered with a tenth duffel bag, just south of the state line between Tennessee and Georgia in the Chattahoochee National Forest.
As news spread of the wild animal's sad death as a result of Thornton's drug smuggling, a taxidermist got their hands on the body and it has since become an unlikely tourist attraction.
At the “Kentucky For Kentucky” mercantile store in Lexington, Kentucky visitors can get up close to the once 12-stone bear that would have experienced one hell of a high in its final moments.
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The shop says online: “Its stomach was literally packed to the brim with cocaine. There isn’t a mammal on the planet that could survive that,” the medical examiner who performed the bear’s necropsy told the company’s founders.
“Cerebral haemorrhaging, respiratory failure, hyperthermia, renal failure, heart failure, stroke. You name it, that bear had it.”
The story has now been turned into a Hollywood thriller directed by Elizabeth Banks with the first trailer of Cocaine Bear released on Wednesday.
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