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Winnie The Pooh Is Actually Not A Boy And Now The World Is Confused

Seventeen

Our beloved Pooh Bear has stood the test of time, and is still dearly loved by our children.

Most of the fictional animals in the cartoon are based off of English author A.A. Milne's son's toys: Winnie the Pooh, Piglet, Eeyore, Kanga, Roo, and Tigger. Milne was inspired by Christopher's toys so much that he made them into a wonderful collection of stories.

Pooh's character gained international recognition when those early 20th century stories, Winnie-the-Pooh, were picked up by Walt Disney.

There's actually a lot of backstory that we don't know about one of our favorite childhood friends.

Finally, the true origins of Winnie the Pooh have been thoroughly researched in a new picture book called Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World's Most Famous Bear. And you don't want to miss the image of who the yellow bear was actually inspired from!

I remember growing up reading the books, and now my children watch reruns of the cartoon. I still love watching the adventures of our naive friend as he navigates through a large forest area in England.

Sterling Holloway's gentle voice is not something I'll ever forget, and neither will I forget the cute little bear's red crop-top t-shirt.  

But when the true origins of Pooh went viral, I was utterly shocked.

Pooh's not a boy?! She's a girl. And that's not all...

Milne's son named his bear cub after Winnie, a Canadian black bear he loved seeing at the London Zoo. So yeah, Winnie isn't even technically from England.

The bear cub belonged to Canadian Lieutenant Harry Colebourn from Ontario, Canada. Colebourn named the black bear Winnie, after his hometown, Winnipeg.

He bought the cub from a hunter for only $20 during the First World War, and had to leave his best friend at the London Zoo so he could go serve in France.

Colebourn and Winnie (left), Lindsay Mattick's new picture book.Wikipedia / Seventeen

In Lindsay Mattick's illustrated story, the life of the real Winnie the Pooh is creatively told.

While not all of it is based on fact, like Christopher Robin adopting the cub, the backstory of how the black bear came to the London Zoo is.

I'm only shocked to learn that Winnie is a girl because she was portrayed as a boy for such a long time.

We're still not sure why the most famous bear was first illustrated to the world as a boy, but it's about time that we learned Pooh's true origins.

As for telling my children, they were quite confused, but I don't think the gender of Winnie the Pooh really matters. It's the beloved cub's heart that won us over.

Did you know that Winnie was actually a girl? Does this change anything for you?

[H/T: Seventeen]

Moojan has been a writer at Shared for almost a year. When she's not on the lookout for viral content, she's looking at cute animal photos. Reach her at moojan@shared.com.