Monday, October 5, 2009
A northeastern Pennsylvania woman, whose husband is an exotic pet dealer operating on an expired license, was mauled to death by a black bear over the weekend. Authorities say Kelly Ann Walz, 37, of Ross Township in Monroe County, was attacked by her 350 pound pet bear while cleaning its cage at about 5 p.m. Sunday. Walz had reportedly thrown a shovelful of dog food to one side of the cage to distract the bear while she cleaned the other side, but the animal turned on her and attacked. Walz's children and the neighbor's children saw the attack and summoned help, and the neighbor shot and killed the bear while it was atop Walz, said Tim Conway, an information and education supervisor with the Pennsylvania Game Commission. "Why this woman chose to go in the same area that the bear was in is beyond me. It's a fatal mistake," he said. "These things are not tame animals, they're wild animals." Owners of wild animals typically have a two-section cage, allowing them to isolate the animal behind a locked gate while they clean the other part, Conway said. Conway said Walz's husband, Michael, had a license to keep and sell exotic animals, but it expired in June of 2008. He called the lapse a technicality. Walz, who has been licensed since 1994, reported to authorities in 2007 that he kept a lion, cougar, jaguar, tiger, black bear, leopard and two servals on the property in Ross Township, a rural area in the Pocono Mountains, about 20 miles northeast of Allentown. The incident remains under investigation.
Why is this news again? Bears and people simply do not mix. Unless you moonlight as 'The Hulk', or some other superhero gifted with well above human average strength and healing abilities, there is zero reason to willingly be this close to a bear.
I love how 'Exotic Pet' dealer is interchangeable with 'Seller of animals that should either be left alone in the wild, or if you must have them, in a freakin zoo'. This list of 'Exotic Pet' dealings reads something similar to my revolving top ten list of 'Animals I want to be nowhere near when the Animal Uprising 2012 occurrs ...'
(Also, that is a picture of a Serval not a bear, because I had no idea what a Serval was until I read this and looked it up. Apparently, these are real popular with people to keep as pets, because they have some sort of death wish.)
You have been warned ...