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Pet Bear Kills Pennsylvania Woman – Exotics Not a Good Idea and May Be Against the Law

black-bear

(Oct. 5) — A 37-year-old Pennsylvania woman died Sunday after being mauled by her pet black bear, authorities said.

Kelly Ann Walz was attacked when she entered the bear’s cage to feed the 350-pound animal and clean its cage, according to Pennsylvania State Police. The bear lived in a 15-by-15-foot steel and concrete enclosure on Walz’s property in Ross Township.

The bear wasn’t the only unusual animal living on the property, an official with the State Game Commission told CNN affiliate WFMZ-TV. The homeowner had a permit to keep a Bengal tiger and an African lion, and the property routinely passed inspection and had no violations, he said.

A neighbor shot and killed the bear that attacked the owner, state police said.

An investigation continues.

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Exotics Not a Good Idea

I spent the last 20 years caring for wild and exotic animals at a rescue facility in CA. One of the problems with owning wild and exotics is that many people don’t do their homework and find out what a job they are really taking on. Like birds – they need a lot of company and live for a very long time. People think that if they get an animal when its young and give it a lot of love, that it will grow up to be a loving animal.  Maybe it will, but it still has the strength it was born with and it’s animal instincts. It one thing if a housecat or a dog gets irritated with you and takes a swipe at you – but if it’s a big cat or a bear – that same swipe can take your head off! Just remember the incident with the chimp last year.

I’ve watched people take their kids into a petting zoo and when the goat yanks the feed away from the child and the child cries, they blame the goat. Why? The goat was doing what goats do.

I know several professional trainers that work with exotics. They know how to protect themselves when the animal gets impatient or out of sorts. Personally, I think California has the right idea. No one is allowed to own an exotic animal unless they have a license and a purpose for the license. Look at what happened in Florida where many people turned their large reptiles loose – disaster.

Posted:  Just One More Pet

October 6, 2009 Posted by | animals, Just One More Pet, Pets | , , , , , , | Leave a comment