The Grizz Files: lonesome bear in The Village


“I’ve seen it back there, but really nobody notices it,” said Patty Elam, a frequent shopper at The Village. 

OU’s statue of a grizzly bear stands aggressively at a whopping eight feet tall, but what few seem to know is that The Grizz isn’t the only massive bear in the area. There’s an older, lonesome bear statue less than a mile away from campus, simply standing in the back of a parking lot.

This mysterious bear is located deep within an outdoor shopping district called The Village, which is home to shops and restaurants like Chipotle, Pottery Barn, Whole Foods and Aeropostale. Unlike The Grizz, this statue goes au natural and stands on its four paws. It’s also more on the pudgier side than our own slender bear statue. 

Due to the mysterious nature and elephantine size of this bear, several questions can be raised.

Who built this? Why is it there? Is this the Grizz’s mom? Why isn’t it at OU?

One would think this bear serves a purpose, but there’s no plaque, no indication of a sculptor − nothing.

Inhabitants of The Village don’t seem to understand the purpose of this bear either.

“I’ve seen it back there, but really nobody notices it,” said Patty Elam, a frequent shopper at The Village. “I’ve been going here since The Village opened and it’s been there this whole time.”

Keith Schalk is an artist from the Village Fine Art Gallery, located near the statue. He works only about 50 feet away and has never seen the bear statue.

“I know I’ve seen kids playing on statues at other malls, but I don’t see why they’d ever play with one in the back of a parking lot,” Schalk said.

We thought perhaps members of the mall directory would be able to explain the mystery of the forgotten grizzly bear.

“You’ve got me,” said Amy Lau, an employee of The Village’s information directory.

After discussing it with other members of the directory, Lau discovered the bear was once part of a playground around the area. Its feet were deteriorating and it had to be moved. Since nobody knew where to put it, they just left it in a parking lot.

The reason why the bear is there has been solved, but the question is what happens next?

This lonesome bear remains, crumbling away in the parking lot, forever watching the cars of The Village pull in and out. Nobody knows how long it’s been there.

We know it once had children crawling all over it, showing love and affection. Memories were made with it. Now it is simply confined, where nobody notices it.

What can be done to alleviate the troubles of this sad statue? It needs a home before someone decides to demolish it.

Perhaps our own university would be willing to ‘bear’ the burden of adopting it.

What do you think could be done about this mysterious bear statue?

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