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Guard dog decapitates Elvis' teddy bear

UPI News Service, 08/03/2006 

Elvis Presley's teddy bear, valued at more than $75,000, met an untimely end in the jaws of a British hound dog guarding the treasure in England.

The rare 1909 Steiff bear named Mabel was bought at a Memphis auction by British aristocrat Benjamin Slade, who in turn loaned it to Wookey Hole Caves near Wells in Somerset, for an exhibition, the Sun reported Wednesday.

No one knows what caused security guard Greg West's Doberman, Barney, to go "berserk," but when the carnage ended Tuesday night, more than 100 bears were scattered throughout the exhibit area and Mabel had lost her head, a Wookie Hole spokesman told the newspaper.

"It's a disaster," he said. "The scene is just a horrific mess, with bits of teddy bear everywhere."

Slade "is not very pleased at all," he added.

West, 36, said Barney has been a "model guard dog" for six years.

"I still can't believe what happened," he said. "Either there was a rogue scent of some kind on Mabel which switched on Barney's deepest instincts, or it could have been jealousy -- I was just stroking Mabel and saying what a nice little bear she was."

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Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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