Did you shoot Otto the Bear?

Everyday, people stop to take a picture of one of the most recognizable specimens at the University of Alaska Museum of the North, an 8’ 9” brown bear that has greeted guests for more than 40 years.

Now, the museum is looking for photos of Otto the Bear to help promote an upcoming exhibit, Hibernation and the Science of Cold.

The specimen was taken in 1950 at Herendeen Bay on the Alaska Peninsula and donated by Mr. and Mrs. J.W. Webb. It weighed 1250 pounds and is listed in the Boone & Crockett All Time Record book. Museum staff nicknamed the bear “Otto” in honor of Otto Geist, who developed the museum’s initial collections.

Photos of Otto and other favorite snapshots of the museum will be used in a bear-shaped montage celebrating famous hibernators.

Visitors can share their photos on our Facebook page (facebook.com/alaskamuseum), upload them with the hashtag “OttoBear,” or email them to ua-museum-news [at] alaska.edu.

Video for the Science of Cold exhibit:

The University of Alaska Museum of the North is a popular visitor attraction, a vital component of the university and the only research and teaching museum in Alaska. The museum’s collection – 1.4 million artifacts and specimens – represents millions of years of biological diversity and thousands of years of cultural traditions. The collections are organized into 10 disciplines (archaeology, birds, documentary film, earth sciences, ethnology, fine arts, fishes, insects, mammals, and plants) and serve as a resource for research on climate change, contaminants and other issues facing the circumpolar North.


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