Annual ‘Wotjek Day’ ceremony to mark Edinburgh’s most famous bear

The event will be held beside the statue.
The event will be held beside the statue.
0
Have your say

The event, being held on Saturday at the statue of Wojtek in Princes Street Gardens, follows a motion to the Scottish Parliament by Conservative MSP Miles Briggs.

The event, being held on Saturday at the statue of Wojtek in Princes Street Gardens, follows a motion to the Scottish Parliament by Conservative MSP Miles Briggs.

Wojtek was a 30-stone bear who was adopted by Polish soldiers during the Second World War.

He was fully enlisted into the Polish army and given the rank of corporal and fought bravely alongside his comrades throughout North Africa and Italy, helping transport shells at Monte Cassino.

After Hitler had been defeated, Wojtek followed his unit to Scotland for demobilisation and retired to Edinburgh Zoo.

He died at the zoo in 1963 at the age of 21.

Miles Briggs said: “The story of Wotjek is an inspirational one and illustrates the enduring friendship between animals and humans.

“The day will also remember all soldiers who did not survive to see their freedom, their families and communities.

“I encourage local people to learn the story of Wojtek, if they don’t know it already, and attend the ceremony to celebrate the day.”

The ceremony on Saturday starts at 10.45am.