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Five years after Delabear went viral in Wilmington, a new Delabear appears

Delabear 2024 is roaming Newark and bringing back memories of an unofficial internet mascot.

Delabear 2024 in Newark. (Screenshot/Facebook Rachael DeFilippis)

Update, July 27: Unfortunately, Delabear was hit by a car and killed on June 25. On June 27, The Delaware House of Representatives passed House Resolution 33 to memorialize Delabear and urge wildlife awareness.


Delabear enthusiasts, rejoice — the bear is back.

Well, a bear is back, and that’s good enough to reawaken Delaware’s second favorite unofficial mascot (after Mr. Celery). Delabear 2024 has been wandering around Julia Lane in Newark, where a 5-year-old girl had a coveted sighting from her family’s living room.

While black bears are fairly common in Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey, they’re rare in Delaware — so rare that when a black bear was spotted in Newark in 2016, it set off a chain of memes and the hashtag #delabear. 

In December 2019,  another black bear was seen on a back deck in Wilmington’s Trolley Square neighborhood, followed by a prolonged search that kept locals glued to their screens like it was the Super Bowl. Ultimately, Delabear 2019 disappeared into the wild, never to be seen again.

For a short time just a few months before the COVID-19 lockdown, Delabear brought people together during an already-unstable time. 

Memes abounded. Local businesses jumped on the viral moment by promoting everything with the elusive Delabear, from Añejo margaritas to Brew Ha Ha coffee to Spaceboy t-shirts. UDairy made a Delabear-themed ice cream flavor, and Wilmington Brew Works made a Delabear double IPA that periodically makes a comeback, along with a Delabear mascot. Even the Greater Wilmington Visitors Bureau got into the action. 

Delabear 2024 may or may not inspire new tie-ins, but it’s a reminder of a fun couple of days on Twitter when it was still unusual to see anything related to Delaware blowing up on social media.

Delabear hasn’t been Delaware’s only viral moment. Even excluding the many times Delaware has trended since Joe Biden became president, the state has had its moments. 

Read on for some of our favorites.

Dover PD Dashcam Confessional (2015)

People went crazy over a Dover cop singing Taylor Swift in the mid ‘10s.

Dancing Amazon Driver in Middletown (2019)

A Middletown woman inspired people to leave snacks for their delivery drivers after sharing a video of an Amazon driver doing a dance after dropping of a package.

UD bioinfluencer captures gravity defying goats (2019)

Then-Ph.D student at University of Delaware Imogene Cancellare was studying snow leopards in Asia when she caught uncanny footage of mountain goats.

Delaware ecosystem builder Pedro Moore’s alphabet baby (2019)

Moore’s then-toddler went viral for his priceless reaction to flipping an M to make it a W.

Wilmington-to-Manhattan tech supercommuter (2024)

In a recent viral TikTok, Wilmington supercommuter Kyle Rice shared his 240-mile commute to Manhattan.

@kylerice23 Come with me as I commute from Wilmington, DE to Manhattan NYC to work. I commute through 4 states and a total of 240 ish miles round trip. I’m a Paramedic working for a tech company, Muru, that provides an app for Protocol arrogating for providers. Where I work as a “Protocol Architect” we cover the entire New York State EMS system, and parts of the Department of Defense. #fyp #fyp #commuterlife #nyc #delaware #amtrak #myday #paramedic #travel #work #worklife ♬ original sound – Kyle Rice

Companies: Amazon / University of Delaware

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