In 1962 it was reported that the US tested jet plane escape capsules using black bears.
“On Mar. 21, a 2-year old black bear named “Yogi” was ejected from a U.S. Air Force B-58 Hustler during tests of the Hustler’s escape capsule.
The bear was ejected at 35,000 feet from the USAF bomber flying at supersonic speed (870 mph): “Yogi” survived the test and landed unharmed 7 minutes, 49 seconds later.”
That is an unpleasant tale.
This tale is a far more positive...
if less accurate.