Mounted 8-foot polar bear looking for a Pa. home

AP News
Posted: Aug 16, 2013 6:13 PM

JONESTOWN, Pa. (AP) — A Pennsylvania restaurant owner is trying to find a good home for an 8-foot stuffed polar bear.

For years, patrons of the Woods Creek Grill outside of Harrisburg have enjoyed posing for pictures with the bear, which was legally shot in Alaska in 1967, the Harrisburg Patriot-News reported.

Restaurant owner Dave DeWees bought the bear and other mounted animals at auctions.

"We wanted things people could come in and see, things they could walk up to," he said. "I can't tell you how many hundreds of people had their photographs taken with her," DeWees told the paper.

But when he shifted careers and decided to sell the restaurant, he learned that the law on bears has shifted, too.

Now, the bear can't cross state lines or be sold to someone in another country because of endangered species laws, even though it was shot almost 50 years ago.

An ad for the bear appeared recently in the classified section of the Patriot-News. DeWees' father, Ken, said he's gotten several calls asking if the advertisement is for real.

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It would be illegal for DeWees to sell the bear even in Pennsylvania without proper documentation that it was shot legally in 1967, the paper reported. But the original hunter was meticulous, and there are folders of information documenting where and when the bear was taken.

DeWees said the polar bear is a good example of the species.

"It's like any other piece of art," DeWees said. "There's good and there's bad."