Treasure #9 Ten-foot polar bear

1 Ten-foot polar bear

1 Ten-foot polar bear

This 10’ polar bear, an iconic symbol of the Museum, is a towering animal that everyone remembers from their first visit. It was shot 20 miles from the Siberian border, on an ice floe in the Chukchi Sea, by Dover resident Dick Mathes in 1969. Taxidermy was done by the Jonas Brothers of Seattle. In 1979, Mr. Mathes, who’d flown unarmed photographic reconnaissance flights over North Korea in the 1950s, was killed in a plane crash in British Columbia. The bear, and several other Alaskan mounts, were donated to the museum by Mathes’s widow, Jeanne.

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