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'Teddy bear' removed from endangered species list

Xinhua, March 13, 2016 Adjust font size:

After 24 years of recovery efforts, the Louisiana black bear, the inspiration for the Teddy Bear, was recently removed from the U.S. Federal Lists of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife.

The removal was announced early this week by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which estimated that currently between 500 and 570 Louisiana black bears were roaming the country, a large increase from the population size of 150 at the time when the species was listed as threatened in 1992.

The fabled bear became part of U.S. culture after a hunting trip to Mississippi in 1902, where then U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt refused to shoot a bear that was trapped and tied to a tree by members of his hunting party.

The episode was featured in a cartoon in The Washington Post, sparking the idea for a Brooklyn candy-store owner to create stuffed animals named Teddy bears.

By 1980, more than 80 percent of the Louisiana black bear's habitat had been modified or destroyed, and on Jan. 7, 1992, the bear was listed as threatened.