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Published November 02 2010

Sanford stumped about stuffed animals appearing on windshields

The evidence is soft, and the facts are a little fuzzy.

For the past week, someone has been leaving stuffed animals on windshields in the north parking ramp at Sanford Medical Center in downtown Fargo.

“We don’t know who is doing it or why, to be honest,” hospital spokeswoman Andrea Voorhees said Monday.

It started with only a few stuffed animals being placed on vehicles in the ramp’s lower level, she said.

The mystery grew this weekend when 10 cuddly critters were found on cars, prompting Sanford security to call Fargo police to check out the situation Sunday night. Police didn’t find anything suspicious enough to file a report.

“It’s a little odd, but nothing appears to be threatening about it at all,” Voorhees said.

Police Sgt. Mark Lykken said there are no security cameras where the teddy bears and other stuffed animals were found, and they had no tags or writing to identify the donor.

Sanford is no stranger to having stuffed animals arrive anonymously. For the past 17 years or so, the former MeritCare Children’s Hospital has received a handful of teddy bears in mailing boxes that identify the sender only as T.E. Bear or Ted E. Bear from Horace, N.D. Each bear comes with a card instructing the hospital to give it to a child in need.

Fargo police suggest if something is left for someone and they don’t know the source, “discard the item in the nearest trash receptacle,” Lykken said.

So unless someone comes forward as the teddy bear benefactor, this mystery may end at the landfill.


Readers can reach Forum reporter Mike Nowatzki at (701) 241-5528