Rocky Kills

Posted by: Loren Coleman on April 25th, 2008

killer bear

Rocky performs.

In a not-too-surprising revelation, in the wake of an escaped tiger killing a man at the San Francisco Zoo, perhaps a few cold glasses of water in modern human’s faces are that, yes, wild animals are strong and do kill.

For a moment, ponder this: If people can’t consider the realities of the animals in their midst, how are they to understand those cryptids that are just beyond their knowing?

Now the news:

Rocky, a five-year-old bear that has starred in big-name Hollywood films, bit trainer Stephan Miller on the neck during filming at an animal training center in California. The bear, who weighs nearly 800lbs, is said to have bit Miller during “playful” wrestling.

Stephan Miller’s cousin, Randy, set up the “Predators in Action” training center, and said that Rocky was a “loving, affectionate, friendly, safe bear.” Randy said that the bear “hit him in a very vulnerable spot.”

(This sounds like the kind of comments you hear from people that talk about the school shooter as the “nice kid next door.” – Loren)

“It happened so fast. We did what we had to do to stop the bear. It took a matter of seconds to get him off, but it was too late,” Randy told press.

Paramedics arrives shortly after, and pepper spray was used to subdue the bear, however it was too late and Miller could not be revived.

At the time of the accident, Rocky was being filmed for a promotional video for the center, which is located in the San Bernardino Mountains.

Rocky most recently appeared in the movie Semi Pro, where he wrestled Will Ferrell’s character.

Rocky’s fate is unknown. The Department of Fish and Game spokesperson said that they would not decide whether or not to euthanize him because the attack occurred outside its jurisdiction. It is believed that the country animal care officials will decide what happens to Rocky. Because the incident occurred on private property outside the jurisdiction of state authorities, it is up to the center to decide what will happen. Had it occurred elsewhere, the state would have had the power to destroy the bear.

{Thanks to field correspondent E. Livada for bringing this story to my attention.}

Loren Coleman About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.

12 Responses to “Rocky Kills”

  1. Ceroill responds:

    Just one more reminder, albeit a tragic one, that despite all the training, and familiarization with humans (at least a few key humans), these are still wild animals. This actually reminds me more of the incident with Siegfried and Roy with their white tiger.

  2. CamperGuy responds:

    I agree with Ceroill.

    Powerful animals with humans = humans at risk.

  3. Richard888 responds:

    I can’t help but feel angered when yet another magnificent animal has to be put down because of the foolishness of humans.

  4. eireman responds:

    I agree. The animal shouldn’t be put down. It did nothing wrong; it’s not a “man-eater”. The bear simply didn’t know what it was doing.

  5. shumway10973 responds:

    Let’s just hope that he hasn’t gotten the taste for blood like some dogs do. Usually when a dog, family pet that would only attack to protect, happens to find something dead or somehow gets a taste of blood, that wild canine part returns. May not act like a wolf, but there have been reports of the family pet actually hunting and taking down things like cows or horses. Just imagine what this bear could do, and I am glad I’m not the one having to find out. Besides, aren’t the people working with such animals suppose to have some sort of safety equipment? If the guy had some sort of collar on that was either stiff or tasted bad the bear wouldn’t have bit him there.

    I wonder what Will Ferrell is thinking right now.

  6. olejason responds:

    There really isn’t any kind of safety equipment, without severe movement restriction, that would allow you to “work” with an 800lb bear.

    Wild animals aren’t meant for entertainment. They should have seen this one coming.

  7. red_pill_junkie responds:

    I hope Rocky’s life will be spared

  8. a_mangy_human responds:

    Me too Ceroill! Reminds me of Siegfried and Roy.
    Man oh man when will we learn? Everything is wild!

    Even my house cats, though thousands of years of “domestication”, in my eyes they are still wild creatures who might snap and turn on me at any given moment, mine aren’t declawed either and certainly could do lots of damage to my fragile flesh, as babied as they have been, I still don’t 100% trust them!

    Don’t people realize we humans ourselves are wild animals! Nothing is tame and domesticated, nothing! This is why are prisons and mental hospitals are over crowded.

    I think Friedrich Nietzsche said it best! “Man is the cruelest animal. At tragedies, bullfights, and crucifixions he has so far felt best on earth; and when he invented hell for himself, behold, that was his very heaven.”

  9. rayrich responds:

    It’s time that Hollywood and animal trainers stop taking advantage of these animals and let responsible rescue groups give these wild creatures a refuge and a more natural environment to exist in. Man has virtually wiped out all the great predators and when these tragic incidences occur the media sensationalizes it and everyone suffers. This continues to perpetuate the fear and demonizing of these exploited animals by the mass medias that have no stake in protecting these endangered animals. Hollywood should spend more dollars through documentaries and movies that highlight the exploitation and misconceptions of these great predators and educate the public to not only learn from the Bears, Wolves, Great Cats, etc…, but also to respect and admire these beautiful creatures.

  10. Ceroill responds:

    If the fellow involved in this event is anything like the one I saw a documentary about, then he did not anthropomorphize the bears he worked with, and was intimately familiar with the dangers inherent in his profession. The bear should not be destroyed. The man died doing what he loved. Rest in peace.

  11. Alligator responds:

    I asked some Bear Clan members of a certain Native American tribe I know what they think of people who train bears or worse, people like the fellow in Alaska who anthropomorphized bears and believed that he knew them well enough to not be harmed by them. He became something of a celebrity as a result. He and his girlfriend were both eaten.

    Bear Clan members (of this particular tribe) believe that the bear is their ancestor and acts as their helper in life. They draw strength and encouragement and guidance from the spirit of the bear. Basically, they said white people are idiots around animals. “Anyone should know a bear can seriously hurt or kill you in a second.” When I asked about reconciling that with their belief that the bear is their relative and spirit helper, the reply was, “The bear has to come to you, usually in a dream or vision. You cannot physically go to it because then you put yourself in danger. Bears cannot go to each other except when mating. Even the sow eventually becomes gruff and drives off her cubs. Given time, she would kill them if they don’t move away. Why would bears treat people any differently?”

    Indians have better sense about animals than we do.

  12. sausage1 responds:

    I know I should feel a great deal of sympathy for the deceased and the immediate family, but I can’t help feeling a great deal of anger as well. I mean, what did theye expect? We are not talking a gerbil in a cage here, we are talking an 800LB BEAR!! Being manhandled!! That it went so long without succumbing to instinctive drift is pretty amazing.

    Spare the bear!

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