Presenter Naomi Lloyd astonished viewers of the ITV network's West Country Breakfast bulletin with a report that a polar bear had mysteriously travelled several thousand kilometres from the Arctic Circle to surface on the shores of Cornwall.
"A walker in Cornwall has caught an extraordinary sight on camera. A polar bear has washed up on a beach near Bude," Miss Lloyd told viewers.
"The bear comes from the Arctic Circle and an investigation is under way as to how it could have ended up there."
But in fact, the "white beast" turned out to be a cow that had been bleached white by sea water.
Network executives quickly dropped the item from its later bulletins after the mistake was realised.
An ITV spokesperson told the Telegraph newspaper the error was an easy one to make but admitted it was "a bit embarrassing".
"The animal caused quite a stir in Bude. Several people has seen the animal from a cliff top and thought it was a polar bear," the spokesman was quoted as saying.
"Its size and colour and its lying position on the beach did make it look like a polar bear and we had several calls. "
22 Sep 2010
Another classic example, in Line with Global politics to keep the simple folk amused, and have the plebs talking about useless information in the office for the entire morning.
Another quality story bought the you by the Media Mongols.