Saturday, October 09, 2004

The Grizzly Part II

[ UPDATE: The story has now made it to CNN, MSNBC and the like. I'm not understanding the hype, but my cousin's name doesn't appear very often, which will likely preclude the book deal as my dad likes to joke. Though his name is omitted out of the fact that his legal matters aren't completely taken care of just yet.]

I visited my cousin tonight and got to see pictures of the bear that was killed. I also got clarification of the situation. We told him what we had heard and he gave us what really happened. Even the newspaper stories are getting it wrong. He's a bit reluctant to talk about it because he's still in a bit of emotional shock, and he also doesn't find it appropriate to discuss until he's been fully cleared by the U.S. District Attorney. This may change since the feds gave him permission, and he and the hunter that was injured have been contacted by CNN, the Today Show, and Good Morning America.

My cousin didn't see the bear when it was attacking his friend. They were flushing out elk, and he heard a shot. The other guy had shot at the bear, but missed. The bear pinned him to the ground and bit off most of the guy's lower face. He ended up falling into a space between two logs, played dead, and the bear left. My cousin, who was 100 yards away started to hear the rustling and thought it was an elk. When it came through the brush, it was at full gallop toward him and at a distance of 12 feet. The rest is all details he explained to the investigating officers, who said they were 99.9% sure he did the best thing to avoid being the next victim.

He had to wait with them while they did the "autopsy" and followed all the federally required standards. Which, I was surprised to learn, included cutting off it's paws and head, and then skinning it too see for sure how many times it was shot. The bear was over 6 feet from nose to tail and it's back paws were 10 inches across. The feds said it was the largest a grizzly bear can grow in North America.

We'll see if they get a national TV debut, though it's unlikely at the point because my cousin refuses to talk about it. He's still in too much shock and too worried about the friend who has to undergo extensive plastic surgery. But for now, newspapers and radio shows such as Paul Harvey have been reporting it. Quite a day for an average guy from the Jesus Town.