Mystery teddy bears found floating in North Queensland
A CUDDLY, and a little creepy, mystery has gripped the Whitsundays, after a harbour master fished three teddy bears from the sea in three days, sparking a call for clues.
Shute Harbour harbour master Brad Teys said his heart leapt when he spotted the first floating stuffed bear.
"When I first saw it from a window here, I thought it was a baby," he said.
"But when I put the binoculars on, I saw it was in fact a bear, to my relief."
He followed the bear as the current and wind brought it toward land before pulling it in, taking a photo of it, and letting it dry out in his office.
Then, a new day, at high tide another bear, identical in style but differing in colour to the first, washed up on the rocks.
At midday Mr Teys found the third bear floating on the edge of the rock wall, face up, just like the others.
"They may have been out to sea for some time or they could've fallen off a yacht, they could've been washed overboard off their own little boat and then they swam for it," he said.
"There's a white one here that looks like it has some dirt or barnacles on him but they're in really good condition. And my daughters want me to take them home so they can give them some TLC."
Mr Teys, a retired senior sergeant who once oversaw the Whitsunday police station, said he had not come across an incident like this in all his years of policing. "I've come across a lot of mysteries involving humans, but never involving three bears," he said.
So far, there have been many creative 'pawsibilities'. One man suggested the teddy trio were headed up the coast and had lost their bearings.
Another said with the wind blowing northerly with a prevailing current, maybe the bears had fallen off the Palm Island Ferry, and were actually "Bundy Bears". One local resident said it was not an unusual find on the "Great Bearrier Reef".
There were calls for police to investigate a possible "triple homicide". The prime suspect is understood to be a fictional blonde child named Goldilocks. However, a number of residents reported seeing three teddy bears perched near the boat ramp a week ago.