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Semi-Pro Bear Kills Trainer

Rocky the Grizzly Bear AP Photo

The grizzly bear that comically smacked down Will Ferrell in Semi-Pro fatally mauled its handler on Tuesday.

The massive animal, whose named is Rocky, was being put through obedience exercises at the Predators in Action wild animal training center in, ironically, Big Bear, Calif., when it bit 39-year-old Stephan Miller on the neck, according to a spokeswoman for the San Bernadino County Sheriff's Office.

Fellow trainers used pepper spray to separate the 700-pound, 7½-foot male brown bear from its victim and restrain the creature. There were no other injuries reported.

Paramedics arrived soon after but were unable save Miller, who died at the scene.

Rocky's handler was a cousin of Predators owner Randy Miller, who could not be reached for comment.

It's unclear if the 5-year-old bear attacked Miller or if the bite was accidental, along the lines of the 2003 incident in which a Siberian tiger critically wounded Siegfried & Roy's Roy Horn during his Vegas act. The ursine encounter came during shooting of a promotional video and authorities have taken custody of the footage.

Predators in Action, whose stable includes two more grizzlies, lions, tigers, leopards, cougars and wolves employable for film and TV work, states on its website that the facility has had a perfect safety record in the past.

Two state agencies, the Department of Fish and Game and Occupational Safety and the Health Administration, are investigating the death, but officials have not yet decided whether to euthanize Rocky.

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