Die-hard Will Ferrell fans who endured Semi-Pro will recall a set-piece in which Will's farm-league basketball team owner Jackie Moon wrestles a bear as a ploy to fill seats. That bear, a 700-lb grizzly named Rocky, fatally attacked a trainer at an exotic animal training facility in Big Bear yesterday. From the LAT:
For unknown reasons, the bear lunged at 39-year-old Stephan Miller, a trainer at Randy Miller's Predators in Action, about 3 p.m. and bit him in the neck, said sheriff's spokeswoman Cindy Beavers. [...]
She added that officials from Cal OSHA and the state Department of Fish and Game were investigating, and it was not immediately known what would happen to the bear. [...]
Fish and Game spokesman Harry Morse said its patrol chief knew of no safety violations at Predators in Action. He said the department's main task with such companies is to make certain the animals are well treated.
"This is a commercial venture," he said of Predators in Action. "It's part of the entertainment industry."
The video above, which we stumbled upon on YouTube, shows the victim's cousin Randy (who played Ferrell's stunt-double) rehearsing the wrestling scene with Rocky. It gives a good indication of the size and power we're talking about here, where one mini-tantrum—perhaps set off after showing up to set to learn some gaffer has grabbed the last flopping, whole salmon from the craft services table—can lead to deadly results.