You may not expect to see a host of bears at Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro. However, that is what you will get on this world famous stretch for the next few months. A host of 145 bears are lined up and down the promenade, each one representing a different country. There is hardly any guessing which country Liberty, above, represents!
Organized by the German Consulate in Rio, the buddy bears promote living together in peace and harmony on their global tour – their paws held high in the hope of world peace. Since the tour began over a decade ago the bears have raised millions for children in need around the globe. Although each bear represents a country it is the people and the culture that it embodies rather than the political system. The one for North Korea, above, is hardly what one might expect if the former was the case, especially considering the regimes recent comments about the USA’s President Obama.
Can you spot your own country? Here is a great slide show by Flickr User GloveBR2008’s photostream. All of the bears are gorgeous, of course, but I have to admit to a soft spot for that of Ireland as well as that from Egypt – the leprechaun bear and the pharaoh bear respectively.