Thanks to a video asking Kentucky for Kentucky, a state-devoted souvenir shop in Lexington, to name their price, Ripley’s Believe It or Not! is now in negotiations to purchase Cocaine Bear, the taxidermied bear that inspired Elizabeth Banks’ latest film based on a 175-pound black bear who consumed 75 pounds of its namesake drug!

Bring on the Brinks

Responding on Instagram, Kentucky for Kentucky commented, “Oh, it is so on. Bring on the Brinks Truck, baby!” but Ripley’s has some competition. Since the film’s recent buzz, Kentucky for Kentucky has received multiple offers, ranging from $10,000 to $300,000.

With over five million followers across social platforms, Ripley’s reached an audience of 250,000 on Facebook and Instagram, polling them on whether the company should try and acquire Cocaine Bear or not. A strong 77.5% of followers agreed – Cocaine Bear is Ripley-worthy.

Ripley’s fans across social media have tried to put a price tag on the trending taxidermy, from “priceless” to estimating the current street value of the drugs ingested. With that input, Ripley’s has decided to offer an undisclosed amount.

Bear With Us

Ripley’s also touts that, if added to its collection of oddities and historical artifacts, Cocaine Bear would be among some of history’s most curious hibernators, like a black bear found with a tire around its waist currently on display at Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Gatlinburg; a grizzly trained in the Russian circus to ride a bicycle; a Kodiak who came face-to-face with a porcupine from Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Amsterdam; and prehistoric cave bear skeletons.

Cocaine Bear has gone on quite the journey since he was allegedly discovered in 1985, from storage facilities to pawn shops, even by way of country star Waylon Jennings – finally landing at the Kentucky for Kentucky Fun Mall in 2015, where they have worked hard to preserve the legend of Cocaine Bear and warn visitors on the dangers of drug abuse.

Ripley’s offer is now officially in the hands of Kentucky for Kentucky.

For more information on Cocaine Bear’s unbelievable legend, be sure to checkout our recent blog where we go in-depth on the lore that has inspired a full length film that sniffed up $23M opening weekend!

Always in search of unbelievable stories and the items that help tell them, Ripley’s expressed interest in acquiring Kentucky for Kentucky’s Cocaine Bear though a light-hearted request on TikTok, asking the store to name their price. If we were to have moved forward with a formal offer, proof of authenticity and extensive research would have been required.

Ripley’s acknowledges that some of Cocaine Bear’s lore remains unclear and has presented the story online with disclaimers for our audience. While Kentucky for Kentucky’s reply confirmed that the bear is not for sale, this piece of taxidermy has become part of that lore, be it authentic or not. 


Discover hundreds of strange and unusual artifacts and get hands-on with unbelievable interactives when you visit a Ripley’s Odditorium!