HANOVER, GERMANY — A performing bear entertaining pensioners in a German retirement home accidentally sat on a 90-year-old and killed her, the manager of the home said Wednesday.

"Nora," a 485-pound brown bear, was being led into a hall when she stumbled over the woman's wheelchair, lost her footing and fell on the woman, who later died in hospital from her injuries.

The 485-lb. bear was only supposed to sit on a bench — not a spectator.

"The bear was only supposed to sit on a bench and eat fruit while her handler talked about the history of bears," said Klaus J., director of the home in Hanover, northern Germany.

He declined to give his full name because he and the handler face charges of culpable manslaughter.

Nora, who has appeared on German television, is still performing. The incident happened during a Christmas party for 40 elderly people in 2000 and has now come to trial.

EDITOR'S NOTE: For you detail-obsessed types, this event occurred at the Katharinenhof retirement home in Hanover. Nora's handler is 57-year-old Dieter Kraml of Alfeld. As of this writing, the court case is in recess due to an illness of one of the defendants.