Legendary keeper of Hercules the Bear dies with plans to bury him next to beloved grizzly

Andy Robin will be buried next to his beloved Hercules. PIC: TSPL.
Andy Robin will be buried next to his beloved Hercules. PIC: TSPL.
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The legendary keeper of Hercules the Bear has died with plans being made to bury him next to the animal he adored.

Andy Robin, of Auchterarder in Perthshire, has died at the age of 84 with his wife Maggie saying her "heart has been ripped out" by the loss of her husband.

Andy Robin and Hercules became world celebrities given the bear's starring roles in television and film. PIC: TSPL.

Andy Robin and Hercules became world celebrities given the bear's starring roles in television and film. PIC: TSPL.

Mr Robin, a wrestler, took in Hercules after he was born at Highland Wildlife Park near Kingussie in 1975.

READ MORE: Hercules the Bear to be honoured with headstone
He went on to train Hercules with the bear touring with his keeper on the wrestling circuit in the 1970s and 1980s.

Hercules then won a number of television and film parts, from a Kleenex ad to a role in James Bond's Octopussy.

Mrs Robin, who raised Hercules with her husband at their pub, The Sheriffmuir Inn near Dunblane, said she was devastated at the loss of a husband, who had been in poor health after suffering a stroke six years ago.

The two made their name on the wrestling circuit in the 1970s and 1980s. PIC: TSPL.

The two made their name on the wrestling circuit in the 1970s and 1980s. PIC: TSPL.

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Speaking to The Courier, Mrs Robin, a former show jumper who now runs the Bear Necessities boutique in Auchterarder, said: "When Hercules was here we were like the three musketeers, we were so happy in our own wee bubble.

“I can’t believe he is gone, he was such a vibrant guy with so much life in him. I feel like my heart has been ripped out."

Hercules died in 2000 with his final resting place in North Uist.

The bear famously went missing in Benbecula in the Outer Hebrides in 1980 while filming the advertisement for Kleenex.

Hercules wandered alone for 24 days with the bear found swimming by a crofter. The story of his disappearance and the hunt to find him made Hercules a celebrity around the world.

A specially-made headstone reads: “Hercules the bear lies sleeping here, watching over his beloved islands resting in peace.”

It was Mr Robin's last wish to be buried in the Hebrides next to Hercules, according to reports today.