The Story Of How A Seven Foot Bear Came To Live In the Midlands

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The bear was named 'Agu'.

A midlands adventurer is responsible for the head of a bear being hung in a Westmeath hotel. 

Lieutenant-Colonel Charles bought "Agu" during his expedition to the Tien Shan Mountains in Central Asia in 1912. 

The owner of Belvedere House, Mullingar, was intrigued by the animal's boisterous attitude and decided to buy him so he could bring him back to the Lake county. 

The pair travelled together on a horse which drew attention a lot of attention. The bear had a tendency to snap at the horse which made it gallop.

Howard-Bury brought enjoyed playing his pet in the garden, however after some time it was decided it would be best for him to go live in Dublin Zoo after he had bitten a number of people. 

After spending the rest of his days in the zoo, the former Westmeath resident passed away of old age.  His remains came back to Mullingar, where his head is now on display in the Greville Arms Hotel. 

Jason McKevitt, a historian from Mullingar, has been speaking with Will Faulkner on Midlands Today about their time together: 


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