Duke the Giant Black Bear
Duke the giant Black Bear, a life-size bronze statue created by renowned Ontario sculptor Ruth Abernethy - www.ruthabernethy.com- , situated in the beautiful Memory Park (Victoria Ave E) in Rossburn. Duke was a world famous black bear that roamed through Riding Mountain National Park and adjacent areas from February 1978 until October 1992. At his untimely death, at the hands of a poacher, he was the largest black bear ever measured, weighing about 812 pounds (368.3 kg). Since then, the record has been broken several times. Duke became famous through a study done from 1987 to 1990 by wildlife biologist Paul Paquet and his team. Paul estimated Duke's height, standing on his hind legs, to be almost 8 feet (2.4 m). Because of this research, it became clear that bears in our area and especially in Riding Mountain National Park are above average in size, some of them being larger than the adult male grizzly bears in the Rocky Mountains.