Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Tales of my Family

I promise the following story is true, to the best of my knowledge. It's as it was told to me by my mother, who heard it from my aunt, who heard it from my other aunt, who was told by her son, my cousin.

My cousin and some of his acquaintances went out west last weekend to go hunting. I'm not sure what they were hunting for, but that's pretty much irrelevant. At some point on Sunday, they decided to split up from each other for a while. My cousin was waiting for whatever prey he was hunting, and heard bloodcurling screams coming from near him.

So the cousin runs to where he hears the screaming and finds his friend, being mauled by an 8 foot grizzly bear. (He found out later that by this point, the friend had used MACE on the bear, and when that didn't stop him from attacking, he shot the bear twice.) At the point my cousin arrives, the friend is being mauled, so he somehow gets the bear's attention (this part wasn't clarified to me) and the bear turns on him. The cousin ends up shooting the bear twice more, and finally brings him down at about 6 feet from him.

The friend ended up being helicoptered out and underwent 5 hours of surgery to stabilize him. The cousin told his mom that he was so scared, he actually crapped himself. The friend is stable now, but from what I understand, his face is completely messed up.

So I'm sure by now, some of you have figured out the end of the story. (At least those of you with pessimistic legal minds.) My cousin is was detained because he killed a grizzly bear, and it's illegal in all states. He's being "investigated" for the murder of an endangered species. The police apparently insisted that he should have first used his MACE before shooting. Which would be a logical question except for the fact that (1)everyone knows that for MACE to be effective, the bear would have had to be on top of him by that point to get the MACE in its eyes. And (2) when he found the bear, it was mauling his person on the ground.

They took him back out to the scene, and made him recreate the whole incident, at which point, they finally realized that he wasn't making it up. I'm no police officer, but I think that the friend being in critical condition in a nearby hospital and my cousin's crap stained pants would be enough to tell me that this was a justified killing.

As it stands now, the case is pending and my cousin's gun was confiscated. They did a bear autopsy and found that the bear was tagged and being followed by the government. Apparently the bear had been taken 200 miles away from that spot in May because it was attacking animals on local farms, and had made the trek back in the past months.