Wojtek (Solidier Bear) (English) ‘Voytek’This fascinating true story about the bear who went to war inspired my creation of Wojtek the bear cub.
A syrian brown bear cub found in Iran in 1942 was adopted by Polish soldiers.
Less than 1 year old he was fed with condensed milk, fruits and marmalade. He was often rewarded with beer which became his favourite drink.
He helped move heavy ammunition and enjoyed wrestling with the soldiers, smoking and eating cigarettes! He was taught to salute and being recognised as an asset to the company of soldiers he officially became 'Private Wojtek' traveling with the soldiers wherever they went.
After the war he spent his final years in Edinburgh Zoo, Wojtek died in December 1963 at the age of 22.