The bear necessities

Bears lost in caf�s and coffee shops were revealed by the research to be in most luck when it comes to being reunited with their owners
Bears lost in caf�s and coffee shops were revealed by the research to be in most luck when it comes to being reunited with their owners

Exactly half of Brits will return a child’s lost teddy bear, according to a social experiment recently conducted in towns and cities throughout the UK.

Five hundred teddy bears were intentionally lost in 25 major towns and cities, each in a different location, such as a café, gym or park bench, between May to June this year.

All had nametags with a child’s name and contact number, to see which places and type of person were most likely to return a lost bear.

Residents in York were the most caring - with 75 per cent of the bears lost in the city being returned.

Edinburgh came 21st with Bristol bringing up the rear.

The research, commissioned by My Nametags, found that 68 per cent of the bears returned were given back by members of the public within 24 hours of being lost.

Richard Wiseman, a Professor of the Public Understanding of Psychology at the University of Hertfordshire, said: “When people see a lost bear they are likely to think that it may be have been dropped by a child, who is now frantically searching for the bear. This effect is applied by the bear having a nametag. It is no longer just a bear - now it has an identity and is even more likely to produce feelings of empathy.”

The research revealed that 64 per cent of those who called to reunite the lost bear were women.

Teddy bears lost pulled at the heartstrings of those aged between 21 and 30, as almost 40 per cent of the heroes who returned the bears were in this age range. Those aged between 50 and 80 made up for 33 per cent of those who called to return the bears.

Bears lost in cafés and coffee shops were revealed to be in most luck when it comes to being reunited with their owners but those lost in churches and parks were least likely to be returned.