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The Real Cocaine Bear Is Still Out There In The World

We've already been served a healthy dose of hype, but the new poster for "Cocaine Bear" has just dropped on Twitter, and it's promising a wild time. Perhaps the most self-explanatory titled movie since "Snakes On a Plane," the Elizabeth Banks-directed thriller will tell the story of a bear that goes on a rampage after ingesting a large supply of cocaine from a drug runner's crashed plane. The film will follow several people converging on a nearby town as they attempt to escape or subdue the coke-fueled ursine.

Featuring a cast that includes, among others, Keri Russell, Margo Martindale, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, and the late Ray Liotta in his final role, it is safe to say that this is a film that draws its buzz mainly from the sheer absurdity of the premise. That being said, the film is, as the poster says, based on true events. Truth, as we all know by now, is often stranger than fiction. Not to mention more terrifying. The idea of any animal as powerful as a bear ingesting a buttload of cocaine is truly the stuff of nightmares. But it did indeed take place. In fact, the original Cocaine Bear is still out there.

The real Cocaine Bear resides at the Fun Mall in Lexington, Kentucky

Luckily, though there is a real-life Cocaine Bear out in the world at large, it's not as terrifying as you would think. In fact, in some ways, it's actually pretty sad. According to the Louisville Courier-Journal, the real story is that in 1985, narcotics officer-turned-drug smuggler Andrew Thornton fell from his plane in the woods near Knoxville, Tennessee. Among the items in Thornton's possession was around 75 pounds of cocaine, some of which was ingested by a 175-pound black bear that just happened to be passing through.

The bear, sadly, died, as is apt to happen to any creature that manages to eat several pounds of cocaine. A medical examiner found that the poor thing had everything from cerebral hemorrhaging to heart failure to respiratory failure. After its cause of death was determined, the late bear's body was taxidermied and bounced around between various owners, including country legend Waylon Jennings.

Today, Cocaine Bear's home is among the oddities at the Kentucky Fun Mall in Lexington, where, according to owners, he attracts a large number of visitors and admirers. Granted, he hasn't been dangerous for a good long while, but his far more terrifying made-up counterpart will be hitting theaters in "Cocaine Bear" on February 24, 2023 (via Collider).