Woman mauled by cheetahs in Florida

Wildlife officers are investigating after two cheetahs mauled a woman at a wildlife sanctuary in Florida.

Judy Berens, who owns and operates the Panther Ridge Conservation Center near West Palm Beach, has been hospitalized after the two animals attacked her during an exhibition Saturday[…]

The sanctuary provides homes for exotic cats.

Witnesses say Berens was alone in an enclosure with two male cheetahs conducting an exhibition when a ball bouncing nearby distracted one of the animals.

Witnesses say Berens was knocked down when the cheetah moved toward the ball. They say the cheetah then started biting and clawing her. The other cheetah attacked shortly after.

Several people entered the enclosure and rescued her.

“Anytime you work with animals, and I don’t care what it is, I don’t care if it’s domesticated animals, wild animals, there is always a risk factor,” wildlife sanctuary curator David Hitzig told WPEC. “And yes, there is a greater risk factor when you’re working with large, wild animals.”

Click here for the full article.

For another unfortunate run-in with a cheetah, read this blog post.

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2 Responses to “Woman mauled by cheetahs in Florida”

  1. Jim Thykeson Says:

    Dear Kitty: Ms. Berens unfortunate accident is a reality when dealing with animals (wild or domestic). She is to be commended for ‘jumping back on the horse’ as she called it. Its no different than when a race-car driver has a bad accident, but goes back to the thing he feels so passionate about; racing. Or to be more specific to the forementioned phrase; when the rider gathers the reins and climbs back to the jumper that just threw him. Without the Judys of the world wild animals; cats very much in particular, will be over with in a few years. Sanctuaries are the last bastion between living and extinction. Even the large Nat’l. Parks and preserves in India, Africa, and even here in the U.S. are under siege and cannot offer the protection of privately owned sanctuaries. This is quite sad, but true. She is a ‘sanctuariist’ the true protector of the flame.

  2. kittymowmow Says:

    HI Jim,

    You make some great points. People who work with wild animals should know and understand what risks they are taking, and if they have weighed these things and still want to continue working with the animals – well, good for them.

    I also am a fan of animal sanctuaries.

    Best regards,
    Kitty Mowmow
    Kitty Mowmow’s Animal Expo
    http://www.kittymowmow.com

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