This film is part of Free

Tragedy of Sam

A eulogy to Sam, the London Zoo polar bear, who is due to be put down due to ill health

Non-Fiction 1925 1 mins Silent


Sam the polar bear had been a fixture at London Zoo for 24 years. Two years earlier before this item a Topical Budget newsreel hinted that all was not well. Now, the newsreel reports he has been put down - or, as a title card more bluntly puts it, "shot at dawn to end his infirmities".

The item doesn't show anything so indelicate as the actual shooting, preferring to create the impression that the rest of the animals are in mourning. According to the alliterating titles, Mr Brown Bear is broken-hearted, while Mr Grizzly grieves, though the group of distraught children shown later on do a rather more convincing impression of misery.