How Hercules the bear was reburied – using a JCB


THIS is the moment the world’s most famous bear was re-buried on a remote Scottish island – using a JCB.


The moment Hercules was re-buried in North Uist. Photo by George H Macdonald


Hercules the Bear became a global superstar after going on the run while filming a television advert in the Outer Hebrides in 1980.

The massive grizzly, who starred alongside Roger Moore in the James Bond film Octopussy, featured on the cover of Time magazine and even met Margaret Thatcher, died in 2000.

He was buried the garden of the Clackmannanshire home he lived in alongside ex-wrestler Andy Robin and his wife Maggie.


He was previously buried the garden of the Clackmannanshire home he lived in alongside ex-wrestler Andy Robin and his wife Maggie


After the couple sold up they decided to have his remains disinterred and reburied beneath the lifesize statue erected in his honour in North Uist.

The low key burial saw the remains of the 9ft Hercules lowered into the ground inside a giant coffin with the help of a JCB just next to the wooden bear statue visited by thousands every year.

Nobody on the island is aware Hercules is actually there apart from a handful of people – including George H Macdonald, the factor North Uist Estate who took the photo.

A full ceremony is expected to take place in July and will see a specially made headstone laid on the spot.


Andy Robin and his wife Maggie with their much loved bear Hercules


The bear was originally rescued as a cub in 1976 from a wildlife park which had planned to put him down.

He was bought Andy Robin for £50 and trained him to be part of his wrestling act.

Hercules, who grew to 70 stone and 9ft, featured in several adverts, including a role in a Kleenex “Big Softy” advert which was filmed in Benbecula in the Western Isles in August 1980.

He went on the run for 24 days and was eventually spotted swimming by local crofters and shot with a tranquilliser dart from a helicopter.

Speaking about moving the logistics of moving Hercules Maggie said: “He was still a big, heavy bear. It was quite a challenge.”