STOLEN Herbert the bear returns to Newcastle bar... after Northern Irish holiday

It’s been quite the start to the year for Herbert the bear...

Colonel Porter's Emporium has finally been reunited with a resident who went missing last month.

Herbert the bear was stolen from the pub in February and owners put out a desperate appeal to be reunited with the taxidermy animal.

Now the 'bearnappers' have returned their captive and sent apologies to the iconic Newcastle bar.

What's more, to try and make up for their actions, Herbert's keepers took the bear on a sightseeing trip of Northern Ireland to make up for the bother.

The bear was returned to the bar having visited Bushmills Distillery and the Joey Dunlop Memorial Garden at Ballymoney, created in honour of the former champion motorbike champion.

The well-travelled bear also made a stop near The Dark Hedges, a Northern Ireland beauty spot known for its avenue of beech trees and even followed in the footsteps of television duo, Ant and Dec to visit the village of Desertmartin, Dec’s ancestral home.

Herbert arrived home after his unforgettable trip accompanied by photos of him enjoying his travels.

The wrongdoers sent the bear back to Colonel Porter's in a bespoke crate by ferry to right their wrongs.

Herbert went on a trip around Northern Ireland

Colonel Porter's Emporium Business Development Manager Cheryl Flower said: “We are just very glad to have him back safe and well.

“All the décor at Colonel Porter’s pays tribute to the great Victorian adventurers and travellers, but we didn’t expect Herbert to go off and have a trip of his own.

“While we certainly don’t condone this sort of behaviour, we’ve been assured it was just meant as a bit of fun so we won’t be taking any action.

“He’s certainly been out and about but we’re glad he’s now back home and that’s where he’s going to stay.”

Herbert is named after the creator of Newcastle Brown Ale, Colonel James Herbert Porter and NewcastleWorld visited the bar after he went missing.

At the time, staff member Jason explained the situation to NewcastleWorld.

Herbert is back at Colonel Porter’s now

He said: "On Saturday night there were four Irish gentlemen dancing around in the corner.

"It's clear one of them knocked the bear off the podium.

"They tried to put it back up but because they have had a couple of drinks they think, this will be funny, wrap their coat around it and sneak it through the crowd up and around the door.

"On Sunday we were showing some customers around all the taxidermy and we looked at the podium and just saw the bear missing. There's been a massive social campaign scene.

"If the bear is returned, it's no questions asked at the end of the day.

"We just want a massive piece of our venue back.

"It's a big part of our story, the history of the venue and that's our main concern.

"There's no focus on trying to get someone in trouble, we just want everything restored to the way it was."