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Henry The Bear, Chick Magnet

Hugh Reed.Hugh Reed, the human friend of Henry the Bear, Mitchell, Oregon, has observed a measurable difference between the way that women and men react to his 800 lb. black bruin.

The women really like Henry. He’s the biggest cuddly toy ever. Or something.

“My wife says, ‘You use Henry as a chick magnet!'” Hugh said, laughing. “He turns them ladies on something terrible. Guys mostly don’t care to go in there with him. But the women, they just love it. They just love the hell out of it.”

“I had a lady in there, feeding him, and she says, ‘I have to hug Henry.’ And I said, ‘No, you don’t have to hug him. He’s not a hugging bear.’ ‘But I have to, she said — and she’s shaking all over. ‘I have to hug him!’ She’s shaking, and then she starts to reach for him, and I grabbed her by the arm and led her out.”

Henry and Skeeter.Hugh’s tales of Henry can quickly go from the cute to the revolting. “This one gal, she was feeding him cookies out of her mouth. She was feeding him a muffin too — a chewed up, crumbled up muffin, right out of her mouth. And every time he’d go to eat, she’d lick Henry’s tongue with her tongue.”

But if Henry’s forbearance is a strategy for self-preservation, Hugh has his own firm sense of where to draw the line.

“This one French gal, a good-looking gal, was feeding him. She wanted to sit in my lap and let her friend take a picture while she was feeding Henry, and then send it to me. And I said, ‘Oh no you’re not. Don’t you send me no picture of you sitting in my lap.’ If my wife caught me doing that I’d be killed.”

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