A New Zealander who'd been using photos of a bear known as Little Ted to document his tour of the United States had a rude welcome to Minnesota early Monday.
Little Ted – and the backpack that contained him – were stolen from Ivan Larsen's car at about 1 a.m. in St. Paul, according to his Facebook page.
Larsen, 30, has been in the U.S. for about six weeks. His travels up the West Coast and across the northwest are chronicled through pictures of the bear taken at popular locations and posted to the Facebook page entitled "Little Ted's Big Adventure."
The adventure took a turn for the worse, though, when someone smashed his car window at McBoal and Wilkin Streets while Larsen visited a nearby bar, he tells KSTP.
Larsen says there were only three items in the stolen backpack: his passport, a pair of sunglasses, and Little Ted. He writes on Facebook that while he can get a new passport, he's mourning the loss of Little Ted.
He explained to KSTP that Ted was a gift from the woman who replaced him at the job he left in New Zealand. “My work colleagues are artists, and they made a little New Zealand passport and pinned it to him, so I thought, ‘I’m going to take him around America,’” he told the station.
Larsen also said with the backpack's contents not having much monetary value, the chances it wound up in a Dumpster seem good, so he hopes neighbors in that part of St. Paul will check their garbage cans.
One of Ted's final photo ops was at a Taylor Swift concert in St. Paul.
But wait ... there seems to be more to the story. A Monday evening update to Facebook suggests that while Little Ted is not replaceable, he may have a successor: