Man Who Self-Identified as Bear Found Bear Community Highly Intolerant

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Ryan Riese of Fulton, MD died yesterday after deciding to don a bear costume and attempt to live among actual bears. He was 36 at the time of his passing. 

Nobody knows exactly what prompted cyber security manager Ryan Riese to abruptly walk out of work and into the forest. An ongoing police investigation reveals that for nearly a year, Riese had been spending his savings on commissioning a Hollywood prop designer to create an elaborate bear costume using a secret email account. “I had no idea. I thought he was spending the money on testicular cancer treatments,” his wife, Victoria Riese told BNN. Autopsy reports show Riese did not suffer from testicular cancer but had forged medical records to convince his family he needed the money for treatment. “I even created a GoFundMe account for him,” his wife said.

The money—approximately $42,000—had all gone into one elaborate bear costume. “He wanted it as lifelike as possible,” said Hollywood costume designer Alfredo Fronz. Fronz is known best for his work in films such asThe Revenant (2016), Grizzly (1978), The Edge (1997) and Grizzly Man (2005),  “He kept asking if it would trick a real bear. I’d tell him, I don’t know man, maybe. I don’t do those kinds of tests. But he just kept pressuring me to promise him this would work. Finally, I was just like, ‘Yeah, sure, it will fool bears, man, stop emailing me.’” Riese’s family is bringing charges against Fronz, claiming the man misled Riese into believing the costume would be safe to wear in the forest. Fronz says he is not concerned with the lawsuit. “I cover all that in the client agreement. You wear my costumes in the forest, that’s your ass, not mine.”

“He kept asking if it would trick a real bear. I’d tell him, I don’t know, man, maybe. I don’t do those kinds of tests. But he just kept pressuring me to promise him this would work. Finally I was just like, ‘yeah, sure, it will fool bears, man, stop emailing me.’” -Alfredo Fronz, Bear costume designer

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