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Dublin: 8°C Thursday 17 June 2021

Hoy, the travelling panda, has been returned to his owner after a frantic search

Hoy went missing when the bag he was in was taken.

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FOR MOST PEOPLE losing a phone or a wallet on a night out can be a traumatic experience.

What can be worse again is if you lose something irreplaceable.

That’s what happened to Hayley Houlihan when she went on a night out with her panda bear, Hoy.

Speaking to TheJournal.ie, Hayley explained that Hoy came into her life when she was travelling in New Zealand.

“I left Ireland about two-and-a-half-years ago and I went to New Zealand. It’s just me and my Mam at home and we would be very close. When I left she was meant to travel over with us,” she said.

However before we went away she was diagnosed with cancer and had to receive chemotherapy. She couldn’t actually make the trip, it was too far.


Despite wanting to come home, Hayley’s mother encouraged her to keep on travelling, and her partner Brian bought Hoy for her.

The sentiment was that she would take the place of my Mam – and that allowed her to follow our travels on Facebook.

Hayley’s mother had gone into remission for her cancer, but in January, unfortuately it returned again.

This prompted Hayley and Hoy to return home to Ireland.

Over the weekend while they were out having dinner in a restaurant in Dublin, Hayley’s bag was taken, and with it Hoy.

Having asked the staff at the restaurant and looked around for the bag, Hayley reported it as a theft to gardaí.

The gardaí were great, because they realised its not an iPhone or a purse… one garda in particular rang the restaurant and said they should be thorough in going through the CCTV.

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After reaching out on social media, Hoy was finally returned to his owner after the backpack he was in was found in an alleyway by an anonymous member of the public.

11703127_10203802593417742_7239816514131136586_n Hayley's mother pictured with Hoy

Thankfully, the story has a happen ending, with Hayley and Hoy set to head off on further travels in the near future.

However, this time they will be joined by Hayley’s mother, who is now well enough to travel again.

We have just said to Mam that we’ll be packing her up with us, and Mam is going to be coming with us now on our travels next year. We’re hoping to do South America and bits of Thailand, and Hoy will be coming, but this time not to replace Mam.

Read: Dublin’s doll hospital and teddy bear clinic closes today

Also: Good news: ‘Seánie bear’ has been reunited with his owner

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