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Grizzly bear kills handler at California training site

BIG BEAR LAKE, Calif. — A grizzly bear killed a trainer Tuesday at a private facility for exotic animals used in movies and television, authorities said.

Three experienced handlers were working with the bear at the Predators in Action facility when the bear bit the 39-year-old man on the neck, said San Bernardino County sheriff’s spokeswoman Cindy Beavers.

The center’s staff used pepper spray to subdue and contain the bear and there were no other injuries, she said.

A county Fire Department traumatic injury response unit responded about 3 p.m., but could not revive the man.

The victim’s name was not immediately released.

Sheriff’s Sgt. Dave Phelps said the bear was a 5-year-old male named Rocky. The Predators in Action Web site says Rocky is 7 1/2 feet tall and weighs 700 pounds.

Calls seeking comment from stuntman Randy Miller, operator of Predators in Action, were not immediately returned Tuesday evening.

The center, located in the San Bernardino Mountains east of Los Angeles, says it has two grizzlies, and also trains lions, tigers, leopards, cougars and wolves for uses ranging from film and TV to advertising and education.

The Web site states that it has had a perfect safety record.

It was not immediately known how long Rocky has been at the facility.

Native grizzly bears are extinct in California.

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