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Polar bear theft charges dropped, Brian Adair resents being known as the 'polar bear thief'

Posted at 4:37 PM, Nov 01, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-01 22:07:07-04

TULSA -- The man accused of stealing a giant mounted polar bear is speaking out after the charges against him were dropped.

The mounted bear was originally seized at the Jones Airport back in August.

The bear was located inside Bryan Adair's hangar. Wildlife officials at the time said Adair didn't have proper paperwork to keep the bear.

Adair's attorneys say Bill Gilstrap Sr. shot the bear back in 1969 before federal laws made it illegal to own a polar bear.

Attorneys say Gilstrap's family and a man by the name of John Tyler made an agreement to store the bear inside Tyler's hangar. 

The bear sat in the hangar for ten years until the hangar was sold. Tyler couldn't reach the Gilstraps, so he asked Bryan Adair to take care of the bear.

Three years later, the game warden was raiding the hangar, saying Adair didn't have the proper paperwork for the bear. Adair's attorneys say the Tulsa County District attorney dropped the case after learning he has paperwork showing the original agreement with the owners to store the bear.

“I've had to pay a lot of attorney fees. I've lost the lean of the bear. I don't know what they're going to do with the bear. It was never my bear. I never told anyone it was my bear," says Bryan Adair.

Adair says he just wants to clear his name, and no longer wants to be known as the polar bear thief. 

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