Wandering Bear Cub Finds Hamm’s Beer Cooler

October 18, 2009

(ChattahBox)—The popular and now iconic Hamm’s Beer advertising campaign started in 1952, featuring a dancing cartoonish bear, has spawned a thriving collector’s market for old beer mugs, ashtrays and other tchotchkes portraying the beloved Hamm’s bear. And residents of Hayward, Wisconsin thought perhaps the reincarnation of the Hamm’s bear had come home to roost above a Hamm’s beer cooler located in a downtown liquor store, when a curious bear cub wandered into the store.

On Thursday evening, a 125-pound bear cub ambled down Hayward’s South Main Street and decided to enter through the front door of Marketplace Foods & Liquor Depot. The 1 1/2 year old bear browsed through the aisles of the store and then walked into the liquor department and inside the comforting frost of the the beer cooler.

The curious bear cub then found a comfortable perch atop a shelf above a display of Hamm’s beer and decided to take a nap. The patrons in the store at the time, remarked on the coincidence of a bear seeking out a Hamm’s beer display.

Store manager Jon LeBlanc said, “The standing joke up here was that it was the ‘Hamm’s bear.” “We like to say the Hamm’s bear returned to the beer.” he added.

Law enforcement officers obtained the help of an employee from the Wilderness Walk Zoo and Recreation Park, who arrived at the scene with a tranquilizer gun.

After tranquilizing the curious Hamm’s bear, officials took it outside and turned it over to the state Department of Natural Resources.

The young bear, which reached a height of about 5 feet tall on its back legs, didn’t cause any damage and wasn’t aggressive. “It was more curious than anything,” said LeBlanc.



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