Is it just us, or has anyone else noticed an upsurge in abandoned teddy bears just lately? We found this soggy ursine lurking on the Regents Canal towpath a couple of weeks back.
Then today, we encountered this equally maudlin fellow clutching the railings of Primrose Hill. No teddy bears' picnic for you, matey.
The cosy, marmalade-filled life of Paddington is a rose-tinted fiction. In truth, London is a tough place for bears and always has been. In Shakespeare's time, bear-baiting was a popular sport, especially in Southwark. The exploitation of live bears was only banned in the 1830s, but the teddyfolk are still mistreated. Take this forlorn servant bear of Great Russell Street. His masters keep him chained and, oh the humiliation, dressed as a beefeater to peddle tat to tourists. These bears are often kept in harsh conditions, and forced to sire innumerable cubs, which are then dressed in Union Flag shirts and sold on as merchandise. Evidence of this unethical practice can be seen in the photo.
But at least the poor bastard has a home. Vagrant teddys are becoming a familiar sight on London's streets, as the earlier photos testify. And new evidence suggests that the problem is now spreading to avian playthings.
Won't somebody give these poor creatures a home?
All photos by M@