I was saddened to read of the death of Stephan Miller. Saddened - and bloody angry!
You see, Mr. Miller was bitten to death by a five-year-old grizzly bear known as Rocky, who starred in the film "Semi-Pro".
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.
Pepper spray was used to subdue and contain the bear, and there were no other injuries, Beavers said. Paramedics arriving shortly after the initial emergency call around 3 p.m. were unable to revive Stephan Miller.
The state Department of Fish and Game and Occupational Safety and Health Administration were investigating the incident.
Fish and game spokesman Harry Morse told the San Bernardino Sun Tuesday his department would not decide whether the bear will be euthanized because the attack occurred outside its jurisdiction during a training session on facility grounds.
Morse speculated that the county animal care officials may decide the bear's fate.
This brings Timothy Treadwell to mind. He was the doofus who tried to pretend that he could walk with bears, live with them, understand them. He allegedly said that whilst he didn't believe he'd be killed by bears, if it ever happened he'd be proud to be bear scat. Well, he ended up that way - at least in semi-digested scat form, as officials killed the bear that ate him before it had the chance to deposit his terminally-digested remains on the ground. It's unfortunate that a bear didn't teach him that lesson before Treadwell persuaded his girlfriend to accompany him on his last excursion. She, too, ended up a victim of bears.
Why is Rocky being blamed for doing what comes naturally to a grizzly bear? You might as well blame a lion for eating meat, or the wind for blowing, or the clouds for raining.
Rocky's a grizzly bear.
Bears are predators.
Sooner or later, if you fool around with them, you're going to be prey.
Live with it.
(Or die with it, as the case may be.)
I hope someone will have the common sense and decency to transport Rocky to one of the bear sanctuaries around the country, where he can live out his life as a bear should. Regrettably, if he's grown too used to human beings, that probably won't work, and he'll have to be euthanized.
However, if that happens, never let it be said that Rocky was euthanized for being dangerous. He's a predator! Predators are dangerous by definition!
No, Rocky will die because humans failed him by ignoring his true nature and treating him as something he wasn't - cute. And that's not his fault.