Battling Bruno the boxing Bear

Contributed by Johnnie Keegan

Battling Bruno the boxing Bear

Battling Bruno is the famous late 19th century fighting bear used to entertain gold rush prospectors in North America,fighting other animals and other bears with boxing gloves. He later fought "Gentleman Jim", an infamous boxer from San Francisco and knocked him out. When Queen Victoria heard of this, she gave Bruno the Knight of the Royal Bath and at her request,he was later stuffed when he died.
Bruno highlights the time of the gold rush days in the 19th century...the tough communities that were built up overnight and the lack of decent living conditions, let alone, entertainment for men that were often away from their families for years: many whom never returned. Watching bear fights was just one way to get through the tedium of panning for gold, as well as a means to earn money for the trainer through bets etc. Although, a cruel and barbaric sport, this era highlights mans' need to dominate those around him, especially animals, who have always been a source of entertainment, from fighting cockerals, dogfights to bullfighting. Unfortunately, history has not taught us to respect the animals we share the earth with and bear fighting continues to this day in China and Pakistan.

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