Animals make great companions, offering unconditional love, companionship, and lips that will remain sealed when it comes to your secrets. They still are, however, animals, and when people forget that fact, the results are sometimes horrific. Here are a few of the stranger mishaps.
1. "Ugly Christmas Sweater" Was An Understatement
- A 52-year-old Florida woman tried to put a sweater on her pitbull, who was clearly not having any of it. "Scarface" attacked her and her family and had to be tased by animal control.
2. That Really Bites
- A hoarder in Germany liked to collect insects and other critters as pets...including a Black Widow spider. When his spiders escaped his tank as the result of one of its heaters exploding, the Black Widow bit him. In the two weeks his body was in the apartment before being found, it was nourishing the whole brood.
3. Not a Hungry, Hungry Hippo
- A former major in the South African army had been trying to domesticate a young hippo that had been rescued from a flood, perhaps not appreciating that hippos are actually quite aggressive animals and have killed more humans than most other wild animals. He soon found that out the hard way.
4. A Tiger Tale
- A Harlem resident saw it fit to adopt a tiger from a wildlife sanctuary (as well as an alligator, apparently) and have it live with him in his apartment. He was mauled by his tiger when he tried to keep the tiger away from another, recently adopted wild cat, and went to the ER. His in-home zoo was discovered because his injuries raised so many suspicions. Shockingly, fellow residents had been aware of the animals.
5. Oh, Deer
- man in Texas found out what it was illegal and extremely dangerous to try to keep a deer as a pet in a backyard pen when the stag he was trying to domesticate, trampled and gored him to death.
6. "Hump Day" Takes On An Entirely Different Meaning
- A 60-year-old woman in Australia had received a camel as a gift for that landmark birthday. She had a decent property with other livestock, but it never really seemed to get along. It had tried several times to smother her pet goat before...making the moves on her. Ultimately, it managed to knock her down, step on her head, and smother her.
- A highly experienced, Pennsylvanian keeper of numerous exotic pets entered her black bear's cage to clean it, but the food that normally distracted it didn't keep its attention. It turned on her and mauled her to death.
Who Let the Dogs Out
Of course, just because an animal has been domesticated doesn't mean that everything is going to stay peachy. From rabies to maulings, there have been a staggering number of dog-related injuries and deaths all over the country ( Wikipedia has a breakdown of the incidents).
If there is anything in particular that the dog attack cases demonstrate, it is that no matter how "tame" an animal, you never know what is going to "trigger" its animal instincts, so it is always good to be diligent.
Other lessons to take away from animal attack stories:
- if it's illegal to keep that animal, there is likely a very good reason.
- Don't take your routine protective measures for granted.
- If you see any evidence of agitation or open defiance, keep away.
Many people put up "Beware of Dog" and other signs to alert passersby that there is an animal around that can attack and cause injury or death. These, of course, may help prepare neighbors and visitors before they visit the home, but ultimately, it is common sense that may be the biggest factor in the number and severity of pet attacks.