The stuffed body of a bear that died polishing off an entire duffle bag of cocaine was targeted by thieves.

A black bear became the stuff of legend in 1985 when it helped itself to class A drugs that a smuggler dropped from the sky above Georgia, US.

It was reported at the time that no mammal on earth could have consumed so much cocaine let alone survive it, and sadly that rang true for the towering beast dubbed Pablo Escobear.

READ MORE: Cocaine Bear's fatal bender after demolishing duffel bag full of blow that fell from sky

An imagined version of the bear's reaction to the white stuff sees it embark on a deadly cocaine-fuelled rampage in an upcoming Hollywood movie.

Although the reality of what happened next to Cocaine Bear is eventful enough thanks to a taxidermist, wildfire and thieves.

Police officer turned drug smuggler, Andrew Thornton, 40, hurled 10 bags of cocaine out of a Cessna plane on return from Colombia, to later collect on the ground.

Only he hit the deck at a far quicker rate than planned when his parachute failed to open because he “hit his head on the tail of the aircraft”.

A curious bear managed to empty 40 packets of the stuff before fatally overdosing but it was not for another three months that its carcass was discovered, just south of the state line between Tennessee and Georgia in the Chattahoochee National Forest.

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According to the shop where the bear is now on parade, its stomach was "literally packed to the brim with cocaine" and the vet who performed the bear’s necropsy determined no mammal could have survived.

Far from that being the end of Pablo Escobear's story, the animal's body was taxidermied and became a tourist attraction for Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area park.

When a wildfire threatened to ravage the forest in the early 1990s, park staff saved their prized taxidermy from the risk of going up in flames and locked it away in storage.

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It was then that cold-hearted thieves helped themselves to the legendary bear and cashed in on it at a pawn shop, where the owner was oblivious to its origin.

In came the late country music star and taxidermy fanatic, Waylon Jennings who snapped up the bear for his Las Vegas-based pal Ron Thompson.

When Ron died in 2009, Pablo Escobar joined numerous other personal belongings at auction, according to Kentucky for Kentucky Fun Mall.

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Businessman Zhu T'ang's eyes lit up at the stuffed animal and made the winning bid of $200 (£161) to display it at his shop in Reno, Nevada.

There is nothing to suggest Cocaine Bear is necessarily cursed but Zhu was next to die in 2012.

Despite admitting to being scared of the taxidermy, his widow kept hold of the bear even after selling the business.

She told Kentucky For Kentucky Fun Mall: "He was always bringing home junk from auctions and estate sales and things like that.

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"The bear was one of his favorite things. He just loved it for some reason. At first, he wanted to keep it in our living room but I wouldn't have it. It scared me. I made him take it to the store."

Zhu T'ang's wife did eventually let go of old Pablo to the owners of the Kentucky for Kentucky Fun Mall for free, they just had to cover the postage.

Since 2015, the bear has been on display at the shop in Lexington, Kentucky where its dressed in a hat and a sign around its neck that reads, “Don’t do drugs or you’ll end up dead (and maybe stuffed) like poor ‘Cocaine Bear.’”

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