ByAllanah Faherty, writer at
Senior staff writer | Twitter: @allanahfaherty | Email: [email protected]
Allanah Faherty

With news today that the tale of Winnie the Pooh is 100 years old it's high time that the world knew the amazing origins of the much loved bear.

The story of the loveable bear with an insatiable appetite for honey is one familiar to nearly all children, but I was surprised to recently learn that Winnie the Pooh was originally a girl!

While A.A.Milne did not pen When We Were Very Young until 1924, the story of Winnie starts in 1914 during World War One. Canadian veterinarian and soldier Lt. Harry Colebourn was on his way to England when he met a hunter who had a black bear cub. Colebourne paid the hunter $20 for the cub and took her with him to England.

He named the cub after the city he'd lived in prior to the war: Winnipeg.

Lt. Harry Colebourn and Winnie
Lt. Harry Colebourn and Winnie

Winnie accompanied Colebourn to the Salisbury Plains and was later donated to London Zoo. It was here that a young Christopher Milne would visit and bestow her name on his stuffed bear, inspiring his father to create the famous book character.

Who knew that Winnie the Pooh had such an amazing backstory?!

Although the original Winnie died in 1934, her legacy in the form of Winnie the Pooh continues to live on and will probably do so for the next 100 years.


Who is your favorite Winnie the Pooh character?

Source: CBC News


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