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 Grizzly & Wild Bears

Cruncher in the TrashCruncher the Bear - Troublemaking bear on the adventure series SIERRA/NBC/1974. Cruncher was a mischievous but friendly bear who lived in the fictitious Sierra National Park. He would constantly but cleverly break into cars or the park's trash can looking for food. One of the recurring elements on each episode involved the park rangers trying to design a bear-proof trash container to thwart the advances of the local bears, especially Cruncher the bear. But time after time, Cruncher always found a way into the park's stash of trash.

There were two bears used on the series: Sweet William, an old circus bear and an 8-year-old Mergatroid, a.k.a. "Mergy." who played the role of Cruncher.

Rangers Harper & Cassidy - Cast of SIERRASIERRA starred Ernest Thompson as Ranger Matt Harper, and James G. Richardson as Ranger Tim Cassidy who patrolled the Sierra National Park and assisted the tourists (campers, skiers, hikers and climbers) who visited the rustic landscape. The series also starred Jack Hogan as Chief Ranger Jack Moore, Mike Warren as Ranger P.J. Lewis, and Susan Foster as Ranger Julie Beck. Jack Webb's "Mark VII" production company produced this series. The program was filmed at the Yosemite National Park with the help of the real National Park Service.

TRIVIA NOTE: Ernest Thompson who played Ranger Matt Harper won an Academy Award in 1981 for his adapted screenplay of On Golden Pond; Michael "Mike" Warren who played Ranger P.J. Lewis later earned acclaimed as Officer Bobby Hill on the police drama HILL STREET BLUES; and ironically, James G. Richardson who played Ranger Tim Cassidy died on February 20, 1983 from an accident in the Mammoth Mountain, south of Yosemite.


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