There’s a real big bear at the Big Bear Discovery Center, thanks to a donation from the Tschoop family of Sugarloaf. The Discovery Center’s new icon is a bear skin with a full-head open-mouth grizzly bear that is nine feet long and eight feet wide from claw to claw. Says the DC’s Director Denis Thomas, “This is a fantastic addition to the Discovery Center’s collection and we are excited to have visitors experience getting close to a life-size grizzly bear, which used to cover the Bear Valley a hundred years ago.” The bear has been in Fred Tshoop’s family for over a century, handed down from generation to generation; in fact, four generations of Tschoops have resided in Arrowbear, Fawnskin, Moonridge and Sugarloaf over the years—and with the bear. It is believed that Fred Tshoop’s maternal grandfather likely shot the grizzly around the turn of the century, as he was an avid hunter and hunted deer and bear in the areas of Deep Creek, Crab Creek and Holcomb Valley as far back as the 1800s. The nine-foot bear is currently on display at the Big Bear Discovery Center on the North Shore (one mile west of Stanfield Cutoff and east of Fawnskin). Open seven days a week, from 8:30am to 4:30pm, visitors are welcome to stop by and enjoy the many offerings of the DC which, this weekend, include gold panning, map & compass, Junior Forest Rangers and, Saturday evening, an outdoor concert featuring A Tribute to the Grand Ole Opry.