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Winnie-the-Pooh is a fictional bear created by A. A. Milne. He appears in the books Winnie-the-Pooh (published October 14, 1926) and The House at Pooh Corner (1928). Milne also wrote two books of children's poetry, When We Were Very Young and Now We Are Six, which include several poems about Winnie-the-Pooh. All four volumes were illustrated by E. H. Shepard. The setting of the stories is based on the Ashdown Forest in East Sussex, England. The name "Winnie" was inspired by a similarly named pet bear of a Canadian soldier
The character was named after a stuffed bear owned by Milne's son, Christopher Robin Milne. Most of the other characters are also named after toys belonging to Christopher Milne, the exceptions being Christopher Robin himself, and also Owl and Rabbit who are presumably based on real life animals, judging by their appearance in illustrations. Christopher Milne had named his toy after a real bear called Winnipeg, brought to Britain from Canada and whom Milne and his son often saw at London Zoo, and "Pooh", a swan they had met on a holiday (and who appears in When We Were Very Young).
Winnipeg the bear was discovered at a stop in White River, Ontario, by members of The Fort Garry Horse Canadian regiment of cavalry, en route to the battlefields of France during World War I. The bear was smuggled to Britain as the unofficial regimental mascot. Winnie's first owner was Lt. Harry Colebourn. He was the regiment's veterinarian, responsible for their horses. Winnie's eventual destination was to be the Assiniboine Park Zoo in Winnipeg, but at the end of the War, the officers of the Fort Garry Horse decided to allow her to remain in the London Zoo, where she was much loved
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