Rocky the bear, most recently seen wrestling Will Ferrell in Anchorman has killed one of his trainers. This sad news makes its way to us via the fabled caves of Yahoo:
The grizzly bear that wrestled Will Ferrell’s character in the recent film “Semi-Pro” seemed to obediently follow cues which made its killing of its trainer with a bite to the neck all the more stunning. Three experienced handlers were working with the grizzly Tuesday at the Predators in Action wild animal training center when the bear attacked Stephan Miller, 39, said San Bernardino County sheriff’s spokeswoman Cindy Beavers.
Stephan Miller is the cousin of training center owner Randy Miller, she said. In a February interview, Randy Miller called Rocky “the best working bear in the business,” the San Bernardino Sun reported on its Web site Wednesday. But, the paper quoted him as saying, “If one of these animals gets a hold of your throat, you’re finished.” Sheriff’s Sgt. Dave Phelps said the bear was a 5-year-old male named Rocky. The Predators in Action Web site said Rocky is 7 1/2 feet tall and weighs 700 pounds.
This certainly sucks. The trainers love the bears and often the bears love the trainers, but when a 700 pound animal gets mad at you – nature takes over and the reaction can be both swift and fatal. There is talk of euthanizing the bear, and although I am pro death penalty – I don’t think Rocky should be eliminated. When you wrestle with bears, bad shit will eventually happen; the bear didn’t sign up to work 9-5 so we shouldn’t be surprised if he snaps because he just wants to chill and eat marshmallows.
I extend my condolences to the family and friends of Stephan Miller. They would know him better than me, and should probably have the largest say in the fate of the bear. If I worked with bears and one killed me – It would be in my living will to have it released into the wild. Everyone dies, and as sad as this news is- dying in combat with such a huge beast is pretty macho. The bear shouldn’t pay for his natural behavior; but we should expect the worst when we train them to act otherwise.