Camel Attacks, Kills Two in Tennessee Petting Zoo

by Courtney Blackann
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What was supposed to be a fun trip to the petting zoo left two men dead after a camel got loose and trampled them to death in Tennessee.

The tragic event took place at Shirley Farms in Obion. According to the Obion County Sheriff’s Office, the camel got loose somehow and two men attempted to capture the animal. In the process, the camel repeatedly stomped and kicked the men, trampling them to death.

When officials from the police department arrived, they attempted to move the men to safety. However, the camel then started attacking the officers and their police vehicle.

According to The Sun, the officers “had to put the camel down for the safety of everyone on the scene.”

The victims were identified as Bobby Matheny, 42, and Tommy Gunn, 67. According to families members of the men, the two were trying to get the animal back in its pen when they realized it was loose on the grounds of the park.

But the camel then cornered the men and began stomping on them. When the news outlet consulted an expert on the species, the person explained that camels actually have a large enough mouth to fit a person’s head, arm, leg and torso in their mouths.

Another form of attack is stomping, which is what occurred in Tennessee. Camels can kick with “enough strength to crush arms and legs with their neck while kicking forward and backward.”

The animal is strong enough to kneel on a person and continue kicking while holding them in place. It’s unclear whether the two men were employees of the petting zoo or if they were just visiting.

Additionally, the petting zoo’s Facebook page indicates that the zoo is open for tours daily. They made no statement on the incident which took place Thursday.

Officials are still investigating the incident.

Black Bear Attacks Florida Woman Walking Dog

While camel attacks are less likely to happen, especially while visiting a petting zoo, accidents can happen. And it’s important to have safety procedures in place for when it does.

Like the unsuspecting men from the Tennessee petting zoo, a woman in central Florida was walking her dog when she was attacked by a black bear.

The incident happened in January and the woman didn’t suffer any major injuries.

The woman, identified as Aydee, says the bear came out of nowhere and tackled her to the ground. However, she was lucky to get away and call for help.

“I took off running that way, and then she was running behind me. And she grabbed me by my shoulders and, I mean, I fell to the ground,” Aydee told a local TV station.

Though she was able to reach police officers and get away, the incident serves as a reminder to be aware of your surroundings at all times.

The National Park Service has some warnings about what to do in case of a bear attack.

“Bears may yawn or clack their teeth, and pound their front paws on the ground while huffing—these are warning signs. These behaviors indicate that a bear is stressed, and it may be getting ready to charge. It will have its head down and ears pointed back, and the bear will come at you like a freight train. Be ready to protect and defend yourself,” the NPS says on their website.

In Aydee’s case with a black bear, the response is to fight back “with everything you have,” the NPS website says.

However, with a brown bear, it’s best to lie flat on your stomach and play dead.

Outsider.com