The large teddy bear at Blake’s Pumpkin Jungle was reduced to a pile of black, smoking rubble Monday night.
Some time during the night of Oct. 23-24 a fire was purposely set to destroy the popular attraction.
“We’ve been doing this 14 years and never had anything like this happen before,” said Blake Jennings, who operates the pumpkin jungle. “It was done on purpose. There are marks in the grass where they doused it with something and lit a trail, and there are four wheeler tracks through the field.”
Jennings’ father first came up with the idea to build an attraction in a field, and the first character was a hay man. Years later they decided to try something different and the bear was inspired by something Jennings saw online.
It requires about a day’s work and $150-$200 worth of hay to build the teddy bear.
“It’s quite well known now and there are over a dozen people every day who stop to take pictures,” he said. “Tons of people took family pictures in front of it and I’ve heard from tons of people who are upset now.”
The bear is usually built during the second week of September, and during the past few years Jennings has been leaving it up and decorating it for Christmas. He won’t be constructing a new bear this year but he does plan to do it again next fall.
He has reported the destruction and asks anyone with information on the fire to contact RCMP.
No damage was done to the pumpkins and the jungle remains open.