Prince Edward County’s Newspaper of Record
May 20, 2024
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1954: Bear Big Attraction Near Carrying Place

A man who has a strong aversion for mice keeps a 300-pound black bear as a pet at his home six miles south of Trenton, near Carrying Place.

He is Hans Christenson, R.R. 1, Carrying Place, who immigrated to Canada from his native Denmark in 1924. He has lived in the Trenton district for three years since leaving Toronto, where he worked after his discharge from the army during World War II.

Despite a somewhat disturbing notice on the animal’s cage which proclaims that the bear will eat “nearly everything that humans will eat and likes children”, Mr. Christenson maintains that, anyway, HE gets on well with “Teddy”.

“But I don’t advise strangers to take liberties”, he told The Trenton Courier-Advocate, and this reporter took due care to refrain from striking up any more than a slight nodding acquaintance with the big, fur-coated creature.

Mr. Christenson, who lives above the premises of his general store, finds that the bear is a great advertising gimmick. “Of course he can cause quite a lot of trouble, but he’s worth it”, the amateur bear trainer observed.

Providing Teddy isn’t too greedy for children, the idea seems to have great business possibilities.

As for Teddy himself, he was born in March 1950 in Burke’s Falls and was trapped when he was six weeks old. Mr. Christenson bought the bear when it was a year and a half. It weighed a mere 130 pounds then.

The owner has one regret. “When I first got Teddy, I used to be able to wrestle with him. But he’s getting too old”, he said in matter of fact tones.

But, when the man who thinks nothing of having a 300-pound black bear around the house, noticed that one of the customers in his store was accompanied by a pet mouse, he was—to say the leas—disturbed.

Not so the bear, however. He looked distinctly interested and watched both the rodent and its teen-age owner with an avid, unpleasant stare, but later settled for an icecream.

This text is from the Volume 194 No. 17 edition of The Picton Gazette
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