White King, World's Largest Dead Polar Bear
White King, the world's largest polar bear, is on display in the coffee shop of Elko's Commercial Hotel and Casino. Standing 10 feet, 4 inches and weighing 2,200 pounds, White King's arrival here was the result of a 1957 challenge to find the largest Polar Bear in the Arctic Circle. Visitors are welcome to mail postcards of a bathing beauty standing between White King's angry outstretched arms.
Big plaster replicas of the mighty ursine glower menacingly from above the main entrances to the casino. When last we visited, one had an arrow shot into his chest, while the other had numerous arrow holes.
White King was further immortalized in Hunter S. Thompson's "Fear and Loathing In Elko," a 1992 Rolling Stone cover story. In it, Mr. Thompson keeps future Supreme Court Justice, Clarence Thomas, from shooting the already dead bear. According to Thompson, a liquored-up Thomas shouted, "I've had enough of this goddamn beast. It doesn't belong here. We should blow its head off."