Darwin strikes again

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.



  1. This remindes me of a story about a
    group of biologist that went to the Komodo Isalnds. So they could study the Komodo dragons. They ended up being eaten by the Komodo Dragons.

  2. Are you telling me Rocky can’t sing ‘The Bare Necessities’ and dance like a monkey?

    Anonymous said…
    Who said they were putting him down? I don’t think they will. Chill dude.
    April 24, 2008 9:10 AM

    Think? Really?

  3. You always see the predator-eating-someone angle discussed, but here’s the one thing that gets me, the one thing that the Timothy Treadwell types never seem to consider:

    Bears fight. As in, each other. They’re equipped to do so, both with the weapons and the protection, such as thick coats. Tools and weapons that little thin-skinned humans decidedly lack.

    If a grizzly bear just decides he’s a little annoyed with another bear and bites or swats him, no big deal. If a grizzly bear decides he’s annoyed with his human handler, or just wants to play rough, the handler gets mauled and very possibly killed, as in this case. Is this really so hard to understand?

    It doesn’t even have to be an attack, per se. An attack has a purpose, either to kill or to drive away. Simple aggression is part and parcel of wild animal life. Putting the bear down for doing what bears do, like crapping in the woods, isn’t the right answer. Leaving them bloody well alone, however, might be.

  4. Uhh, I don’t want to be callous here, but isn’t there some irony that the police spokeswoman in an animal case is named beavers?

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