Dog Destroys Elvis’ Teddy Bear at Museum

A guard dog gone beserk his destroyed Elvis Presley’s teddy bear along with hundreds of others.

A guard dog has ripped apart a collection of rare teddy bears, including one once owned by Elvis Presley, during a rampage at a children’s museum. “He just went berserk,” said Daniel Medley, general manager of the Wookey Hole Caves near Wells, England, where hundreds of bears were chewed up Tuesday night by the 6-year-old Doberman pinscher named Barney.

Dog Destroys Elvis' Teddy Bear at Museum Photo This is an undated handout photo issued by Wookey Hole Caves Wednesday Aug 2, 2006, of security guard Greg West and his dobermann Barney who went on the rampage. A 40,000 pound (US$75,000 euros 58,000) teddy bear formerly owned by Elvis Presley was one of the bears destroyed when the guard dog, which was supposed to protect it, went on the rampage Tuesday . The rare Steiff bear, named Mabel, was due to form the centrepiece of an exhibition at Wookey Hole Caves near Wells, England. The bear was bought at auction in Memphis, Tennessee, by Somerset aristocrat Sir Benjamin Slade and had been loaned to the collection, a Wookey Hole spokesman said. (AP Photo/Wookey Hole Caves, Ho) Barney ripped the head off a brown stuffed bear once owned by the young Presley during the attack, leaving fluffy stuffing and bits of bears’ limbs and heads on the museum floor. The bear, named Mabel, was made in 1909 by the German manufacturer Steiff.

The collection, valued at more than $900,000, included a red bear made by Farnell in 1910 and a Bobby Bruin made by Merrythought in 1936.

Among other things, one wonders why the bears weren’t behind some sort of protective enclosure. Hordes of children going through and putting their grubby little hands on the bears is not exactly the best climate for preservation.

UPDATE: The revised YahooNews headline: “Hound dog mauls Elvis’s teddy bear.”

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Steve Verdon says:

    And even a well trained dog can…well lose it on occassion. People often treat their dogs like humans, but we need to treat them like dogs. Shocking I know, but it is amazing how people treat their pets…actually I consider it a dis-service to the poor dogs.

  2. Anderson says:

    On second thought, perhaps it’s better *not* to be someone’s teddy bear …

  3. DaveD says:

    Guard dog assigned to protect the Teddy bear exhibits at childrens museum: Alot of the toys I see sold for canine amusement are stuffed animals with a “sqeaky sound” inside them. If the only diversion this dog had in his lonely night job was the toys on the shelves, well, this was probably destined to happen sooner or later.

  4. Kent G. Budge says:

    Dog gone.

  5. slickdpdx says:

    Are all comments off, or just Steve’s?

  6. Chadwick says:

    Dogs going berserk have always freaked me out, but what I find even more terrifying is the fact that there is a children’s museum called “The Wookey Hole Caves.” No, seriously…


  7. When I first heard this story I laughed so hard my sides ached, my heart went pitter pat, but, I just looked at the photos and got the distinct feeling that they were staged. Insurance claim anyone?