I am right in thinking we all believe Winnie the Pooh is a boy, right? You better sit down.

Canadian author Lindsay Mattick has released a new book, Finding Winnie: The True Story,  a children’s book that tells the story of Mattick’s great-grandfather Harry Colebourn, a World War I veterinarian.

Just before leaving Canada for London in 1914, Harry Colebourn saw a bear cub tied to a piece of a string, he hopped off the train and purchased the bear for $20.

He named her Winnie, after his hometown of Winnipeg, Canada, and took her with him to London, where she became the regiment mascot.

When Colebourn was deployed to France, he asked the London Zoo to take her in.

It was here that a young Christopher Robin first came across Winnie.

Christopher Robin’s father was author A.A. Milne, who went on to write the incredibly successful series of Winnie the Pooh books.

Lindsay told the Winnipeg Free Press she wrote the story so her young family — and Winnie lovers all over the world — could know the real story behind the books.

“I want people who love ‘Winnie the Pooh’ to understand that the real story behind her is just as beautiful and just as amazing.”

“I’m still blown away that, while a lot of people in Canada certainly know the story and know the history now, around the world it’s really still not known.

“People don’t even realise that there was a real bear.”

Hang on what? Go back a bit… I think… I can’t speak.  Winnie is a girl? Well that changes a lot!

What do you think about that? Share your thoughts below.

Images via Instagram
  • I never knew this, i always thought he was a boy lol


  • What a great article. Irrespective of gender it is interesting to read about the origins of this much loved tale.


  • No way!! I grew up on Winnue the poo books and cartoon on tv and I am adamant ‘she’ had a ‘he’ voice.
    I never knew it was a real bear. Love the history.


  • Wow hey!


  • lol i didn’t know there was the real bear or that it was a girl.


  • When I said to my daughter she was speechless. She went on saying: “What? What? What?” :-)


  • i must admit i thought winnie was a boy,didn’t know the true story


  • Does it really matter that Winnie the poo is a girl?


  • Lke ga


  • Why do people feel the need to do this? Did we really need to know he was a she? Bit like hearing Bert and Ernie from Sesame Street are in a relationship and Tinky Winky the Teletubby is gay. It’s so unnecessary


  • Thanks for sharing some interesting trivia/info on Winnie the Pooh – worth following up and reading about for interest.


  • Did anyone know Winnie was a girl? All the games and videos have Winnie with a definite male sounding voice


  • Well that certainly has turned my world up side down.


  • Really??? I would have never imagined that!! I wonder what my daughter will say!! :-)


  • I always knew the book character was based on a real bear, but for some reason I always thought Winnie the Pooh was a male.


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