Big Grizzly


This is the story floating around the internet:

The following pictures are of a guy who works for the forest service in Alaska. He was out deer hunting and a large Grizzly Bear charged him from about 50 yards away. The guy unloaded a 7mm Magnum semi-auto into the bear and it dropped a few feet from him. The thing was still alive, so he reloaded and capped it in the head. It's a world record. The bear had killed a couple of people, so of course, the game department did not let him keep it. Think about it, at 12'6" high at the shoulder and over 1600 hundred pounds, this thing standing on its hind legs could walk up to the average single story house and look on the roof at eye level.

This guy would've been a little snack for the bear!

This is the real story:

This email tale, circulating constantly in one form or another since November 2001, seems to grow taller year by year. Ironically, the first two snapshots the ones showing the hunter posing next to the carcass of an incredibly large bear are authentic. We know where and when they were taken, and by whom. The origin of the third photo purporting to show the remains of the behemoth's last victim is unknown. It was attached to the already-circulating email by an anonymous prankster in late 2002.

In real life, the big grizzly measured 10' 6" from nose to tail and weighed in at an estimated 1,000 to 1,200 pounds unusually large for the vicinity, says the USDA Forest Service, but not quite a world record, nor even an Alaskan record. It was killed on October 14, 2001 by U.S. Air Force Airman Theodore Winnen on Hinchinbrook Island, Prince William Sound. The photos were taken by his hunting partner, Staff Sgt. James Urban. Both were stationed at the nearby Eielson Air Force Base at the time.

Though the bear was within 10 yards of the hunters' position and moving towards them when he fired the first shot, Winnen says, it did not charge them, contrary to what the email claims.  "I don't know if the wind was in our favor or what," he told the Anchorage Daily News. "We were dressed in camouflage. He might not have seen us."  Winnen's weapon was a 338-caliber Winchester Magnum, not a 7mm semi-automatic as alleged. The first bullet pierced the bear's brain but left it standing; five more in the chest finally brought it down.

Was the bear a man-eater, as claimed in the email?  No, says the Forest Service, there is no evidence of that. When asked by the Anchorage Daily News to comment on the horrific image of what appears to be a partially-eaten human victim, spokesman Ray Massey admitted he hadn't even looked at it.  "I didn't want to see a photo of the body," he said. "I know it's bogus."


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