The London Ice Bear was an ice sculpture of a polar bear in Trafalgar Square in 2009 to raise awareness of global warming. More of the bronze skeleton is revealed as the ice melts. Photo: Where The Art Is
The animal sculptures at the Tower of London are by artist Kendra Haste. Photo: Pikakoko
This little guy was spotted after surviving Notting Hill Carnival 2009. *hic* Photo: Stephanie Sadler
This bear was spotted busking in Portobello Road Market in 2011. Photo: Gurpreet
At least we know London's bears are clean...even if they need a little help. This bear lives outside a shop near the British Museum. Photo: Andrew Smith
This Paddington Bear book bench was on display throughout the summer. Photo: Dave Pearce
These colourful - if slightly alarming - trinkets were spotted in Camden. Photo: Imran Ahmad
These bears mean business. Spotted on Park Lane in 2009. Photo: Norman Craig
In 2009, a model bear aboard a teeny tiny "ice" raft was sent down the Thames in order to raise awareness of Arctic peril.* Photo: Mike King
In 2013, Boris the polar bear spent a month in Sloane Square, raising awareness of endangered animals. He now lives at London Zoo (which, since you ask, no longer houses real bears). Photo: cdb41
This is a Banksy piece, or so the story goes - in 2011 a false trail led Banksy fans to search along the Kent coast for this work, before it was found in Lewisham after it had been there for seven months. Photo: Romany WG
Street Art by Animaux Circus in Great Eastern Street, 2013. Photo: Stuart Sunley
Having previously published photo galleries of
lions and tigers in recent months, we decided it was time to further our photographic foray into London's animal kingdom. Despite our only native species — the Brown Bear — going extinct from Britain in around the 10th century, bears have maintained a key presence in London culture, from the polar bear at the Tower Menagerie which was famously allowed to swim in the Thames, to the fictional likes of Paddington and Winnie the Pooh.
For the more melancholy side of being a bear in London, have a look at our past
Leave No Bear Behind series. And then of course, there are all those bear attacks that have taken place in the capital...
With thanks to the following photographers for use of their images via the Londonist Flickr Pool: Andrew Smith, cdb41, Dave Pearce, Gurpreet, Imrad Ahman, Mike King, Norman Craig, Pikakoko, Romany WG, Stephanie Sadler, Stuart Sunley, Where The Art Is,
*Read more about the
polar bears floating down the Thames.
Last Updated 10 October 2014