1The Cocaine Bear's real name was Smokey, and he was a black bear native to the forests of Tennessee.
Smokey was found dead in 1985 in the Chattahoochee National Forest in Georgia, with a stomach full of cocaine.
The cocaine that Smokey ingested was linked to the notorious drug lord Pablo Escobar and his Medellin cartel.
The cocaine was dropped from an airplane piloted by Andrew Thornton, a former DEA agent turned drug smuggler, who died while parachuting from the same plane.
Thornton was part of a larger conspiracy known as the Bluegrass Conspiracy, which involved drug trafficking, corruption, and murder in the state of Kentucky.
Smokey's death and the discovery of the cocaine sparked a massive investigation that led to the arrests of several individuals involved in the conspiracy.
Smokey's remains were donated to the University of Tennessee, where he was eventually taxidermied and put on display in the school's museum.
The Cocaine Bear became an unlikely celebrity and even inspired a song by the country music duo, The Kentucky Headhunters.
Smokey's story was also featured in an episode of the popular TV series, "The Unexplained Files."
The story of the Cocaine Bear has inspired various pop culture references, including in the TV series "Breaking Bad" and the movie "The Revenant."