77lbs of cocaine has a street value of around $14 million dollars and could kill thousands of individuals. However, these numbers did not intimidate a Kentucky bear in 1985 who tore through and consumed almost every last bit of it.
Andrew Thornton II, a former police officer, lawyer, DEA agent, and paratrooper, decided it was time to stop working for the US government and become an overqualified drug smuggler. On September 11th, 1985, the Cocaine Cowboy jumped from his plane with bundles of blow strapped to his body, Gucci sandals on his feet, and gold nuggets in his pockets. Only one thing went wrong: Thornton lost his parachute and freefell to his death.
A few months after the death of the Cocaine Cowboy, a dead bear was found within miles of the scene. The cause of death? Cocaine overdose. According to an expert:
“Its stomach was literally packed to the brim with cocaine. There isn’t a mammal on the planet that could survive that. Cerebral hemorrhaging, respiratory failure, hyperthermia, renal failure, heart failure, stroke. You name it, that bear had it.”
But the story only continues…
Pablo Escobear’s body remained in decent condition after its death. Escobear was taken to a taxidermist so that his legendary story could be immortalized, and having only been on display for a few months at a visitor’s center in Kentucky, the area was put on evacuation notice. When everyone evacuated, the cocaine-filled black bear was stolen. Reportedly, he was taken to and sold out of a pawn shop and went on a mysterious hiatus before he was returned to local officials.
The story of the Cocaine Cowboy and his black-bear friend who stole all of his drugs is immaculate. Further investigation into Thornton exposed “large-scale corruption within the DEA, Kentucky law enforcement, and even the Kentucky Governor’s mansion”. On top of that, Pablo Escobear has become one of Kentucky’s most well-known celebrities and his story continues to spread. So, next time you’re out in the mountains, watch out for the party bear that stole all of the cocaine!