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Winnie The Pooh Was Originally A Girl And Our Minds Are Blown

Mark Cunliffe

Published 
| Last updated 

Winnie The Pooh Was Originally A Girl And Our Minds Are Blown

Featured Image Credit: Walt Disney

Today (18th January) is officially Winnie The Pooh Day to celebrate author A.A. Milne's birthday.

And to mark the birth of the creator of one of the most loved characters of our childhood, we bring you an important public service announcement that may just rock your world.

Because, girls and boys, we are here to tell you that your favourite little yellow bear was, in fact, originally a female.

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Yes, the bear in the books and movies was a boy, but if you delve into the character's history, you'll learn that Winnie was a girl.

Despite having a male voice in the Disney films Winnie is actually a girl. (Credit: Walt Disney)
Despite having a male voice in the Disney films Winnie is actually a girl. (Credit: Walt Disney)

A picture book, called Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World's Most Famous Bear, has been written by Lindsay Mattrick, who is the granddaughter of real life Winnie's actual owner.

This book tells us how Winnie was a *female* black bear and she lived in a London zoo, and is the bear that A.A. Milne based the entire franchise on.

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Winnie's owner Harry Colebourn (and Lindsay's grandfather) rescued the bear in 1914, naming her after his hometown of Winnipeg in Canada.

Winnie was based on a real life female bear called Winnipeg. (Credit: Walt Disney)
Winnie was based on a real life female bear called Winnipeg. (Credit: Walt Disney)

Harry was a Canadian vet, working to treat injured and wounded horses in WW1.

And he brought Winnie, whose full name was Winnipeg, with him while he was working in England all the way from Canada.

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Winnie the bear became a firm favourite with all of the troops, but she was sent to stay in a London zoo after Harry had to move France.

She became super popular with all of the children at the zoo, one of which included Christopher Robin - a key character in the franchise as well as being A.A. Milne's son.

 Harry Colebourn who was a vet rescued the bear in 1914. (Credit: Wikipedia/Manitoba Provincial Archives)
Harry Colebourn who was a vet rescued the bear in 1914. (Credit: Wikipedia/Manitoba Provincial Archives)

Christopher visited Winnipeg in the zoo all the time, and even named his toy bear after her.

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Upon Harry's return to London, he realised just how loved Winnie was by all of the visitors and their kids, making the decision to donate her permanently to the animal sanctuary.

A.A. Milne decided to create an entire franchise based on Winnie, adding 'Pooh' to the end of her name. Thus, the lovable character was born and immortalised in the books in 1926.

Topics: Disney, TV News, TV Entertainment

Mark Cunliffe
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