Probe Launched Into Fatal Grizzly Attack

Man died from single bite; showbiz bear may have been playing
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 25, 2008 4:11 AM CDT
A sign is seen at the entry to the Predators in Action compound near the city of Big Bear Lake, Calif. on Wednesday, April 23, 2008.    (AP Photo/Phil McCarten)
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(Newser) – California safety officials have launched an investigation into the death of an animal trainer killed by a showbiz grizzly bear. The 39-year-old man died from a single bite to the neck while wrestling the 700-pound bear Rocky for a promotional video for a social networking start-up. The company he was filming for at the Predators in Action center will be probed for health and safety violations, the AP reports.

The facility's distraught owner, the dead man's cousin, said the bite happened suddenly during a simple routine. "It took a matter of seconds to get him off, but it was too late," he said. One animal expert, who has wrestled the grizzly himself, said the animal might have been playing, rather than being aggressive. "Knowing the bear, taking little nip-type bites with the front teeth—every bear does that," he said.