Meet The Real Bear That Inspired Winnie The Pooh

The beloved cartoon bear known as Winnie the Pooh has some surprising ties to the real world. The character was based on a real female bear cub that was named Winnie after the Canadian city of Winnipeg. During World War I, Harry Colebourn, a British soldier living in Canada, purchased Winnie at a train station from the hunter who killed her mother. Colebourn, who had graduated from veterinary college, named the cub, and kept her as a pet while training. Eventually, Colebourn found Winnie a home at the London Zoo while he fought the war. When A. A. Milne began writing "Winnie the Pooh," he based the title character after his son Christopher Robin's favorite zoo animal, Winnie. The rest of the characters in the stories were based on Christopher's stuffed animals. Learn more about the real-life Winnie, and the characters he inspired, in the video below.

Meet The Real Winnie The Pooh

He was cared for by a veterinary officer in World War I, and named for the city of Winnipeg.

The Origins Of The Silly Old Bear

Learn more about everyone's favorite honey-loving Disney character.

Key Facts In This Video

  1. Winnie the Pooh is a "pooh" bear because "pooh" is the sound he makes when he blows butterflies off his nose. 00:05

  2. The cartoon character Winnie the Pooh was based on a female cub owned by Canadian soldiers in World War I named Winnie. 00:25

  3. Disney began animated "The Adventures of Winnie The Pooh" in 1966 because Walt Disney's daughters loved the written series. 02:17

How To Draw Winnie The Pooh

Channel your inner animator with this tutorial on how to draw the character.

Written by Curiosity Staff January 19, 2016

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