Tuesday, May 3, 2016

R.I.P. Scarface

We've all heard the rhetardical question:
Does a transgendered bear take a dump in the woods behind Target? 
Emphatically, I say 'yes'. If he wants to, that is.

There is an estimated 750 grizzly bears in and around Yellowstone National Park. For the past week, however, there has sadly been one less grizzly roaming far and wide and often within sight of delighted tourists and their cameras. They say he was the most famous of all the grizzlies here, though I don't believe he ever played a guitar or took illegal drugs.

His birth name was bear No. 211, but to most others he was known as 'Scarface', Yellowstone's 'Grand Old Man'. To many, many other unsuspecting tourists he sneaked up on, he was widely known as 'OH SH*T"!
Death at Yellowstone: Feds probe shooting of ‘Scarface,’ the park’s most famed grizzly
He was best known by his nickname, which was inspired by his fight-maimed face and damaged right ear: Scarface. He roamed far, wide and often within sight of delighted tourists and their cameras. He was captured, collared and released by biologists 17 times, making him “one of the most studied bears,” in the region, according to the Associated Press.

By last fall, those scientists were warning that Scarface might not make it through the winter: He’d dropped from a peak of 600 pounds to 338 pounds. At 25 years old, he was elderly.

[Cubs of a euthanized grizzly that killed a Yellowstone hiker will get a new home]

They were right that his time was short. But Scarface didn’t die of natural causes. Last week, the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks department released a statement that said No. 211 had been fatally shot in November near Gardiner, Mont., just outside Yellowstone’s northern edge.

The bear’s death is now under investigation by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services,

I took the family on a Yellowstone vacation in 2005. We had one of those surprise grizzly encounters in the woods near Yellowstone falls.  I don't know if it was Scarface (he would have been a rambunctious 14-year-old teenager at the time) and maybe the odds say it probably wasn't. But since he kept walking casually by without ripping out our throats, I will always believe it was him.

R.I.P. Scarface. You were truly a majestic and inspiring creature.


  1. I hear ya. But I refuse to let them sour me. I'm going to be playing showtunes on the deck of the Titanic.