University of Portsmouth's History Blog

Bears on Board and Cats in Cannons: The Royal Navy’s Animal Mascots – Steven Gray

Dr Steven Gray is lecturer in the history of the Royal Navy at Portsmouth. Steven’s research explores a variety of aspects of naval life, including the role of pets on board ship. In this fascinating article, Steven reveals the many reasons why animals travelled on the sea with the men of Britain’s Royal Navy fleets, including the account of a polar bear called Barbara, who became one crew’s mascot after she was rescued as a cub when drifting on an ice-sheet off Greenland.’

Link: https://www.theguardian.com/science/animal-magic/2015/dec/07/barbara-polar-bear-cats-in-cannons-royal-navys-animal-mascots

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