Archives for April 2008

Predators in Action Video: Rocky the Grizzly

I attempted to include the video of Rocky in a training session before with ugly results–so here it is on its own.

Predators in Action Bear Attack

The name of the animal trainer killed during the bear training incident at Predators in Action was released by the San Bernardino Coroner’s Office.

The 39 year old male was Stephan Miller, cousin to Randy.

Already Born Free (an animal rights group) is using the incident to encourage a ban on animals in the entertainment industry.

The UK group has recently joined forces with the Animal Protection Institute (API).

Animal acting has changed since my early days in the industry but hands-on contact is always a calculated risk.

Randy has always remained diligent in how he manages his charges–which is why he has had a clean record until now.

As I mentioned before, it is a number’s game.

Animal attacks were not uncommon at one facility I worked at in my early years but then we had animals out training and working on a daily basis. Lions, tigers, bears, elephants–plus a variety of others including orangutans and chimpanzees.

Today, many of those trainers now have their own facilities and the intense wrestling and attack scenes are rare–now mostly replaced by special effects due to the risk.

The Predators in Action trainers did have bear spray and used it to stop the bear and to get him back into his enclosure.

I just finished an article talking about the use of bear spray to ward off predators in the wild during outdoor activities. Then today, this article on wild grizzly incidents was published.

Bear spray wasn’t around when I started my career–but I am glad it is today.

Our community is saddened by the loss and we also hope that Rocky is not destroyed over this incident. The investigation will be ongoing and it will be interesting to see what plays out as the final assessment.

Finally, I am wondering what your opinion is regarding animal actors and taking risks through close encounters with the wild kind. Leave your opinion below.