Sunday, January 29, 2006

Monster Man-Killer Grizzly Bear

My dad forwarded this to me in my email:

The downloaded pictures are of a man who works for the US Forest Service in Alaska and his trophy bear.

He was out deer hunting last week when a large grizzly bear charged him from about 50 yards away. The guy emptied his 7mm Magnum semi-automatic rifle into the bear and it dropped a few feet from him. The big bear was still alive so he reloaded and shot it several times in the head.

The bear was just over one thousand six hundred pounds. It stood 12' 6" high at the shoulder, 14' to the top of his head. It's the largest grizzly bear ever recorded in the world.

Of course, the Alaska Fish and Wildlife Commission did not let him keep it as a trophy, but the bear will be stuffed and mounted, and placed on display at the Anchorage airport to remind tourists of the risks involved when in the wild.

Based on the contents of the bears stomach, the Fish and Wildlife Commission established the bear had killed at least two humans in the past 72 hours including a missing hiker.

The US Forest Service, backtracking from where the bear had originated, found the hiker's 38-caliber pistol emptied. Not far from the pistol was the remains of the hiker. The other body has not been found. Although the hiker fired six shots and managed to hit the grizzly with four shots (the Service ultimately found four 38 caliber slugs along with twelve 7mm slugs inside the bear's dead body), it only wounded the bear and probably angered it immensely.

The bear killed the hiker an estimated two days prior to the bear's own death by the gun of the Forest Service worker.

Think about this :

If you are an average size man; You would be level with the bear's navel when he stood upright. The bear would look you in the eye when it walked on all fours! To give additional perspective, consider that this particular bear, standing on its hind legs, could walk up to an average single story house and look over the roof, or walk up to a two story house and look in the bedroom windows.

... Yikes!

UPDATE: Man-killer... NOT

The photos are real, but the story was altered. Here is an analysis from

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 a hunter posing beside the carcass of an incredibly large Alaskan brown 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 final victim is unknown. It was appended to the already-circulating email in late 2002.

Not quite a world record

In real life, the big grizzly in the first two photographs measured 10' 6" from nose to tail and weighed an estimated 1,000 to 1,200 pounds — unusually large for the vicinity in which it was found, says the USDA Forest Service, but not quite a world record, nor even a record for Alaska. 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 Eielson Air Force Base near Fairbanks 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 brought it down.

No man-eater

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 final image of what appears to be a partially-eaten human victim, Forest Service 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."

Here's another photograph of the hunters posing with the dead bear:

Notice how much smaller the bear's head seems. In the photo at the top, the head is simply in the forground closer to the camera, which makes it look so big. I would guess that is probably what inspired someone to exagerate the story.

I got this last photo at

Snopes also gives a detailed account by the hunters. I'm not making the URL a hyperlink, because it also has a photo of a naked dead body that has been severly chewed by animals, and I didn't want to link to it directly. It's not related to the story but was included in some emails. The analysis above called the photo "bogus", but that's only in relation to the bear story, it IS a real body chewed on by animals. It's really grusome, so if you go there and chuck up your cookies, well, you were warned!


juanitagf said...

That's one big bear! My brother has done bear hunting and gotten his. It scares me to think of him doing it.

Chas said...

Bears are scary, but grizzlys have to be the scariest. I've never seen one this big!

juanitagf said...

BTW, I finally got my links up to date and you are on there now...

Joubert said...

I'm going to link to this.

Mahndisa S. Rigmaiden said...

01 29 06

Wow Chas now this is a story!!! I am happy that guy took that terrorist bear out. Usually they are afraid of humans. The ones in the wild in CA (except Yosemite) usually leave you alone. But I had heard that those Alaskan Grizzlies were vicious. Whoaaaaaa! Cool post:)

Ranando said...

You do realize that this story is a FAKE don't you.

Just thought you might like to know.

Chas said...

Oops, I had a feeling I ought to check the authenticity first, guess I should've but I was in a hurry this morning. I've just added an update, thanks.

jgf: Thanks for the link, I will reciprocate. Patty: thanks for the "Tag", I shall answer in the next day or so.

Anonymous said...

Well... If I have to go by way of an agressive bear, I believe I'd rather have it be a really BIG one. I understand the little ones take TWICE as long to kill you. :)

Anonymous said...

That scared me to bits i would never go near a animal that big

you were realy brave :)

Chuck Pelto said...

TO: All
RE: Not a Man-Killer?


The bear is killed charging someone armed with a 7mm semi-auto rifle and we're expected to believe the report that this bear is NOT a 'man-killer'?

Or are we to believe that the bear just up and died and this guy plugged it with his rifle to make a name for himself.

How very odd....