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Hound dog mauls Elvis's teddy bear

Updated: 2006-08-04 19:46
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LONDON - Barney the guard dog went berserk at a teddy bear exhibition in England and ripped the stuffing out of Elvis Presley's beloved bear Mabel, exhibitors said on Thursday.

Wookey Hole Caves, a popular holiday destination in Somerset, southern England, was drawing children with its display of 1,000 precious teddy bears, including Mabel, beloved bear of the King of Rock and Roll.

Hound dog mauls Elvis's teddy bear
This is an undated handout photo issued by Wookey Hole Caves Wednesday Aug 2, 2006, of the security guard Greg West and his dobermann Barney who went on the rampage. A 40,000 pound (US$75,000 euros 58,000) teddy bear formerly owned by Elvis Presley was one of the bears destroyed when the guard dog which was supposed to protect it went on the rampage Tuesday . The rare Steiff bear, named Mabel, was due to form the centrepiece of an exhibition at Wookey Hole Caves near Wells, England. The bear was bought at auction in Memphis, Tennessee, by Somerset aristocrat Sir Benjamin Slade and had been loaned to the collection, a Wookey Hole spokesman said. [AP]

But, said General Manager Daniel Medley, it all went horribly wrong.

The collection was so valuable that the insurance company insisted the exhibitors guard it with dogs. Barney, a sleek and handsome Dobermann, was dutifully dispatched.

"The security guard was doing his normal patrols at the site. He let the dog in, and the dog went on a rampage," Medley told Reuters.

"He started with Mabel, took a very large chunk out of Mabel almost severing her head, and then went mad. It took about 20 minutes to bring him out."

Dozens of other bears were shredded too.

Mabel is the property of Sir Benjamin Slade, a local aristocrat, who says he paid 40,000 pounds (US$75,000) at auction for the bear.

Sir Benjamin is "hopping mad," confessed Medley.

As for Barney, "he's going to be retired to a farm where he can chase chickens," Medley said. "We've told the security company we don't want anything nasty to happen to Barney, but we don't want him back."

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