h/t Futility Closet
En route to a training camp in Quebec during World War I, Canadian army lieutenant Harry Colebourn bought a bear cub for $20 from a hunter in White River, Ontario.
He named her Winnipeg, after his hometown, and smuggled her to England, where "Winnie" became the mascot of his militia regiment.
Eventually he donated her to the London Zoo, where she became a great favorite of Christopher Robin Milne, the son of a local playwright.
You know the rest.