ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — “Cocaine Bear” roared its way into theaters on Friday, raking in more than $23 million in its opening weekend.
The comedy horror film tells the story of an American black bear that eats some cocaine that had been thrown out of a drug smuggling plane, causing it to go on an aggressive, violent rampage.
Viewers might be interested to learn, however, that the film is actually based on a true story.
The film is loosely based on a story that happened in 1985 in Kentucky and Georgia, according to Screen Rant.
Andrew Carter Thornton was a narcotics officer who eventually changed sides and became a drug smuggler. He had previously been arrested numerous times for smuggling drugs and weapons, but it appears as if he never learned his lesson.
Thornton was doing a run in 1985, where he was dropping duffel bags of cocaine from his plane into Georgia’s Chattahoochee National Forest before jumping out of the plane himself. However, his parachute never opened.
His body was found in a Tennessee driveway with 77 pounds of cocaine still on him. Law enforcement officials had found bags of cocaine in the area over time, but the last duffel bag still eluded them after two months of searching.
That is because a black bear got its paws on it before they did.
While the bear did indeed eat the cocaine like its movie counterpart, it did not kill anyone in a drug fueled rampage. Instead, it ended up overdosing on the $15 million worth of cocaine that it ate out of the duffel bag. Authorities found it after it had died, with its stomach full of the white stuff.
The bear became a local celebrity, being named “Cocaine Bear” and “Pablo Eskobear” by locals. Though it died from the cocaine, residents can visit its taxidermied body in a Kentucky mall to this day.