For more than a decade, one cartoon bear has reigned supreme, lobbying for softer landings and better bathroom etiquette. But who is the Charmin bear, really?

Charmin, a brand manufactured by Procter & Gamble, has never before publicly revealed the bear's identity β€” or his or her inspiration β€” until now. We asked the company to name the bear's species, and it was reluctant, ruling out polar bears, grizzlies, koalas and even gummies. We even gave Charmin a list of bear species to choose from. Then, wildlife biologist David Steen suggested the unimaginable β€” could the Charmin bear be a formerly abused circus bear?

Other hypotheses from Twitter:

"A poorly-drawn grizzly bear"

(Public Domain)

A Russian brown bear

(Wikimedia Commons)

A black bear native to Charmin's home, Wisconsin

(Flickr/Dan Newcomb Photography)

At last, after some coaxing, the jig was up. The Charmin bear, that round, fluffy emblem of soft bottoms, is none other than:

Ah-ha! We thought we had the answer. It makes sense, considering the resemblance:

(Flickr/ANi360, Charmin)

But when we reached out to Charmin headquarters to double-check, there was a twist! Said spokesperson Laura Dressman, "Technically, we're more closely related to the American brown bear β€” Ursus arctos."

The brown bear, which lives across much of northern Eurasia and North America, bears a pretty striking resemblance, too:

(Flickr/hairyduck, Charmin)

We're not entirely convinced, so here's a poll. Which bear should the Charmin bear be?