The bears at the National Zoo and Aquarium were upstaged on Monday with bear celebrity Ted E Bare paying them a visit.
The cuddly puppet and his puppeteer David Strassman stayed at Jamala Wildlife Lodge on Monday night, just ahead of a run of shows at Canberra Theatre Centre and at The Q.
Speaking on behalf of the rather shy bear, who spent the interview hiding in a duffle bag, Strassman said Ted. E was a big fan of the zoo.
"He's a champion for rescue animals and any breeding program. Sadly us humans are leaving our world as a toilet and the animals are suffering," Mr Strassman said.
As part of their stay, Strassman and Ted. E met Ubuntu the rhino and Bernie the boa constrictor, and got to help feed Mishka the white lioness. Fittingly, they stayed in the bear lodge - sun bears that is.
Despite being woken during the night by some neighbouring lions, Strassman called the lodge "world class" and said the food he enjoyed as part of his stay was, "some of the best I've had in my life - and I've eaten all over the world. It was definitely top five".
Since starting out in New York comedy clubs in the 1970s, Strassman has been touring to Australia for three decades, with shows in Canberra since the mid-90s.
This visit he's performing his newest show, iTedE, with five nights at Canberra Theatre Centre's Playhouse, and one at Queanbeyan Performing Arts Centre.
The show includes a feat Strassman said had never been done previously in the history of theatre - he operates five puppets at once with a handheld remote and voices six people - the five puppets plus himself - live for 25 minutes. The rest of the show is what he calls your traditional, "hand up the bum" puppet work, featuring his most-loved characters including Ted. E and Chuck.
Also on Strassman's agenda while he's in town is the War Memorial, which he calls, "one of the finest world war museums on the planet - I've been there every time I visit Canberra."
- David Strassman is performing at the Queanbeyan Performing Arts Centre on March 11 and the Canberra Theatre Centre March 6-10. Tickets are still available through The Q website.