A plaque commemorating the legend of Hercules the grizzly who became a Hollywood star has been unveiled beside his grave on a Hebridean island.
Earlier this month, The world famous bear’s body was reburied beside his 7ft tall wooden statue in Langass Woods on North Uist earlier this month.
His adoptive “parents”, ex-wrestler Andy Robin and his wife Maggie, exhumed Hercules after they moved out of the Clackmannanshire farm where the 50-stone bear was buried after he died aged 25 in 2000.
Around 50 islanders gathered yesterday as the Robins unveiled the plaque over the grave.
The couple said “Herc” would now be at peace in the place they call home and where he had his “adventure” – going on the run for 24 days over the hills and moors across Uist and Benbecula.
His vanishing act in 1980 sparked a massive land air and sea search.
Hercules was bought as a young cub from the Highland Wildlife Park near Aviemore for £50 in 1976, and lived with Mr Robin and his wife for the rest of his life.
He was like a child to the couple and Mr Robin carved out a career wrestling with the bear at shows.
Mr Robin, 76, told the gathering at North Uist yesterday: “Hercules now lies at rest here in the final chapter of his story.”
Mrs Robin, whose mother hails from Grimsay in North Uist, said the bear’s legacy would live on at Langass.
“It’s great to have him here where his fame was stamped on the island and then throughout the world.
“This is such a peaceful lovely place and it is just a privilege to have him here.”
A global spotlight focussed on North Uist when Hercules evaded an army of searchers after going walkabout on a family holiday to visit Mrs Robin’s relatives in Benbecula.
Brothers Alasdair and Ronald Iain Maclean eventually spotted the grizzly on Alasdair’s croft 20 miles from where the bear vanished.
He was shot with a tranquilliser dart and airlifted off the moor.
His Hebridean exploits shot him to stardom, and he travelled to Hollywood, was feted by the stars and royalty and loved by his fans.
The Scottish Tourist Board made him Scottish Personality of the Year and ferry company Caledonian MacBrayne gave him a lifetime ticket for free travel.
He starred in Disney movies and the James Bond film Octopussy and even appeared on the cover of Time magazine.