JOPLIN, Mo. (AP) – Brutus the bear is under lock and key at Joplin High School.
The Joplin Globe reports that the large wooden sculpture was an official mascot of Joplin’s now closed Parkwood High School before disappearing in the late 1990s, possibly while making a guest appearance at a class reunion.
Recently, an anonymous person returned the bear, although details are sketchy. Assistant superintendent Kerry Sachetta and others said only that Brutus had “been to college.”
Time hadn’t been good to Brutus, who was two pieces, missing a foot and caked in mud.
Parkwood graduate Randy Branham, who carved the bear in 1976, said he worked to repair the bear every day for about a month. The restored bear was unveiled Saturday. For now Brutus’ home is a locked display case.
Information from: The Joplin (Mo.) Globe