Llanwrtyd Wells’ endangered bear has been removed.

On Tuesday, June 26, workmen removed the 10-foot wooden statue from the A483 roadside.

The much-loved grizzly has stood near the former Cambrian Woollen Mill for more than 15 years.

County Times:
The bear is still near its former standing place and has been lying on its side tucked away by the side of the mill (Picture: Anna-Lisa Coleman)

Welsh Government officials ordered the bear’s owner to remove it by June 19 because it was a road hazard.

It is claimed that the Welsh Government’s announcement followed a crash in which a motorist lost control of the car because the driver thought the statue was a real bear.

Temporary traffic lights were placed on the stretch of road following the accident at the beginning of May.

Llanwrtyd Wells Town Councillor Peter James said: “It’s wrong to remove the bear. We’ve got a huge red kite sculpture in the town square near the road - are they going to remove that too? There’s also the bull sculpture in Builth Wells. If one has to move should the others? It’s interestingly annoying.

“Llanwrtyd Wells is an iconic little town, so why take away some of our icons? I can’t understand it. I can ‘bearly’ believe it! We’ve had no notification of its removal as councillors and now the bear has gone into the wild. It’s an interesting time. 

“You couldn’t make it up! I’ve never seen anything so strange. It’s gone like wildfire.”

A Welsh Government spokesperson said: “Happily, we are the bearer of good news.

 “We have reached an agreement with the owner of the bear and associated items on the grass verge that will see them rehomed to an area of land where they are still visible but do not present a hazard to passing motorists.

 “Our agents were satisfied with the decision, and offered to assist the owner by moving the bear to its new position.”

County Times:
The Teddy Bears' Picnic protest at Llanwrtyd Wells. (Picture: Peter Barnett)

On Friday, June 22, a ‘Teddy Bears Picnic’ protest was held at the site by Llanwrtyd Wells residents. 

Some residents thought the Welsh Government's announcement was ridiculous, so a gathering of teddy bears was arranged to protest at the measures.

The picnic drew a large crowd, some dressed as bears, with everyone carrying teddies and placards.

Passing motorists registered their support with a wave, a beep of the horn and shouts of ‘Keep the bear!’.

County Times:
Anna-Lisa Coleman, dressed as Goldilocks, started the campaign through social media. (Picture: Peter Barnett)

Local artist, Anna-Lisa Coleman, decided to set-up a Teddy Bears' Picnic to protest.

She said: "The intention was to draw attention for the swift removal of Bear, ensuring that she would be re-sited and more importantly the removal of the expensive lights!

"I was also involved in the party that campaigned to remove the previous set of temporary traffic lights on the same stretch of road that were in place for five years. We held a birthday party for them with cake"

Llanwrtyd Wells resident Ruth Stickland said: “So what’s the problem with the bear? He’s been there for a very long time and has never caused an accident. Most people see the traffic-lights as an over-reaction, a nuisance and an unnecessary expense - and want the bear kept in the town!”

The Llanwrtyd Wells Bear has yet to be rehomed.