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Last Updated: Friday, 6 April 2007, 17:52 GMT 18:52 UK
Latvia bears giant chocolate gift
By Laura Sheeter
BBC News, Riga

Chocolate bear made in Latvia
The bear's dramatic voyage amazed the Baltic states
A 40kg (88-pound) chocolate bear is being flown to a tiny Estonian island as a gift from neighbouring Latvia, in honour of a famous seafaring bear.

The real bear got stranded on a block of ice and floated 40km (25 miles) to Ruhnu Island from Latvia last year.

It became a celebrity in the Baltic states, when it evaded attempts to catch it and return it to the mainland.

It is thought to have made its own way back to Latvia. The chocolate bear is going on display before being eaten.

It was created by Latvia's oldest chocolate maker.

There are no bears on Ruhnu - and only 70 people live there.

Last year the bear from Latvia managed to evade its trackers - even tricking a team of specialist hunting dogs - before leaving the island.

The islanders had been worried that the bear might attack people. But it turned out to be a real boost for Ruhnu - causing a tourist boom - as people keen for a glimpse of it came to visit.

Country profile: Estonia
27 Mar 07 |  Country profiles
Country profile: Latvia
27 Mar 07 |  Country profiles

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