The relationship between man and animal has existed for as long as history goes. Some animals like horses are used to help us out with physically challenging tasks while other animals like dogs have provided both protection and company. Over the years, evolution has allowed some of these creatures to get along with us while others have still maintained their traits from the wild. It doesn’t really matter how much training is provided to these exotic animals, as their true behavior is bound to show up at some point.
While knowing of all of the risks, people have still tried to own exotic pets and most of the time it has ended up in a disaster, either for their own self or for people close to them. Some of the worst incidents usually involve owners getting mauled and then eaten by their pet animals. Some of the biggest factors which contribute to such behavior are usually poor feeding habits or improper handling. In most cases, these animals have been found to be either severely malnourished or closed in a place where they do not belong. Despite being cringe-worthy, we went ahead and put together a list of 15 pet animals who ended up eating their owners in one way or the other.
15. Farmer Eaten By His Own Pigs
In what was probably one of the most shocking incidents to ever happen, Terry Vance Garner, an Oregon pig farmer became a victim of his own pigs. He routinely set out one night to feed the animals but never returned. His family members grew worried and set out to look for him, fearing that he had gone missing. After searching for several hours, they eventually came across his glasses and pieces of his body inside the pig enclosure.
It is speculated that Garner most probably had a heart attack or was knocked over by one of the pigs and then consumed. Authorities initially considered foul play given the fact that domestic pigs are rarely known to get violent, however, Garner had previously reported being bitten by the animals before. Another fact to consider here is that most of these pigs weighed well over 700 pounds, almost double the size of normal pigs which explains why they might have some violent tendencies.
14. Gypsy The Burmese Python Killed A Helpless Toddler
Keeping a Burmese python is a bad idea if you don’t know how to take care of it, but it’s even worse when you have a toddler in the same house. Negligence at the hands of Charles Darnell and Jaren Hare led to the death of their two-year-old daughter, Shaianna. Apparently, the 8-foot 6-inch snake had already escaped close to a dozen times in a few weeks since the only thing covering its cage was a quilt.
This time, however, the parents discovered that the snake had tightly wrapped itself around their daughter and had its fangs embedded in her forehead in an effort to eat her. Animal experts later found out that the snake hadn’t been fed in almost a month and was underweight when it attacked the girl. Both Hare and Darnell were arrested and convicted of third-degree murder after which they were sentenced to 12 years in prison.
13. Wildlife enthusiast Mauled By Pet Bengal Tiger
It’s pretty clear by this point that most of these animals belong in the wild instead of being locked up in a cage. 52-year-old Cynthia Lee Gamble was mauled and killed by a 500-pound Bengal tiger which was in her possession at her residence. The crazy part about this whole deal was that Gamble was heavily involved in editing and writing wildlife documentaries, even going as far to write her own books related to these. She was also listed as an animal coordinator for the movie Vertical Limit which was released in the year 2000 and had used snow leopards.
Her body was discovered by a man who arrived on her property to perform a controlled burn. A veterinarian was called in who had to euthanize the tiger before authorities could gain access to Gamble’s remains. The animal was later moved to the University of Minnesota Veterinary Hospital for testing.
12. Woman Trampled To Death By An Aroused Camel
Camels may look docile but they’re pretty gnarly creatures, especially the young ones who are known to exhibit hostile behaviour. Pam Weaver, an Australian exotic pet owner with a property full of cattle and sheep was the unfortunate victim of an attack by one of these creatures. Weaver’s husband had gifted her a 330-pound camel for her 60th birthday. Apparently, the camel was very excited and showed signs of sexual behaviour by trying to mount the family’s pet goat.
Weaver didn’t pay much attention to this until one evening the camel decided to mate with her instead. She was initially able to fight the camel off but it responded more aggressively by biting her, knocking her over, laying on top of her and eventually trampling her to death.
11. Woman, Who Forgot To Close The Cage, Killed by Teddy The Black Bear
Black bears are normally not known to be as aggressive when compared to their bigger and more powerful counterparts, the grizzly bears. They are still very strong animals when compared to a human and can easily maul one to death without much effort. An incident similar to Simba the lion happened here when 37-year-old Kelly Ann Walz was cleaning out the cage of her 350-pound pet black bear, Teddy, which she had raised ever since it was a cub.
Apparently, she forgot to lock the bear in its secondary cage, allowing it to attack and then kill her. Nearby children saw this attack and summoned Walz’s neighbor, Scott Castone who shot the animal with his rifle, killing it as a result. Police later discovered that the license which Walz’s husband carried to keep all these exotic animals had also expired.
10. Scarface The Pitbull Attacks Florida Woman When She Tried To Put A Sweater On It
Pitbulls are known as one of the most vicious dog breeds and we accept the fact that they have been given a much worse reputation than they actually deserve. However, there have also been many cases where people have been attacked and injured by pitbulls. One of these came to light when a Florida woman and her family were mauled by their pet pitbull after they tried putting a sweater on it.
The pitbull which was quite ironically named Scarface – attacked Brenda Guerrero on New Year’s Day of 2017. The dog still didn’t back off even after her husband and son tried to intervene while using a knife to stab It multiple times. The three eventually managed to escape inside the house and called Animal Control who had to use a Taser to subdue Scarface.
9. First Documented Case Of Death By Boa Constrictor
Let’s be honest here, snakes are a big no for most of us or any other kind of reptile for that matter. Still, there are some people out there who do enjoy the company of their slithery friends for reasons that are beyond us. Back in 2010, Cory Byrne’s unfortunate luck led him to become the first documented case of a person to be killed by a boa constrictor.
His family had warned him numerous times of the dangers that came with owning such a pet but he refused to listen. On the day of his death, Byrne decided to wrap the snake around his neck and show it off to his roommate’s girlfriend. This ended in the snake constricting itself around his neck and then eventually strangling him to death.
8. Travis The Chimpanzee Savagely Attacked Owner
Keeping a wild animal in the house and especially a chimpanzee almost always a recipe for disaster. Even though they might not be as tall as your average human, pound for pound they are twice as powerful when it comes to sheer strength. Travis the chimpanzee was famous for her numerous appearances on Tv and talk shows with its owner Sandra Herold. On a 2009 day, Harold called over her friend Charla Nash for help with getting the 200-pound Travis back into its cage.
This did not end well as the chimp ended up attacking Nash, severely mauling her hands and biting her face in the process. Herold tried stopping the animal by use of force but all of her efforts angered it even more. She eventually called the police who arrived and had to shoot the chimp, killing it in the process. Nash later went on to become the first patient ever to receive a double hand and face transplant.
7. Hungry Cats Decided To Feed On Their Deceased Owners
It doesn’t matter if you’re a dog or a cat person, the fact remains that cats can make for some of the most adorable pets. However, they still carry their predatory traits over from their much larger siblings, the African lion or the Bengal tiger. Back in 2010, Herbert Walden who was 74 years old passed away after he suffered a heart attack while taking care of his dying mother Jane who was 94. She died too soon after because of dehydration since she was dependent on Herbert’s care.
When authorities arrived, they discovered piles of garbage and filth with dozens of cats roaming around. Since there was no one around to provide them food, they decided to feed on their deceased owners instead. It is still unknown whether all the cats were pets or if they were attracted due to the large amounts of garbage. Regardless, they were all taken to the local animal shelter.
6. Bettina The Black Widow Kills German Owner
You thought keeping snakes as pets was bad? Try venomous spiders like the black widow or the brown recluse. In 2004, a German man by the name of Mark Voegel was discovered dead in his apartment in conditions which were straight out of a horror movie. He had apparently been bitten by his pet black widow after the heater on the tank in which he housed all his spiders and other insects had burst, allowing them to crawl free.
When authorities discovered his body, he had been dead for nearly two weeks and the creatures had feasted on it the whole time. There were bits of him scattered all over the apartment with several large spiders nesting throughout the place.
5. Owner Of Dozens Of Poisonous Snakes Bitten and Killed
As if pythons weren’t bad enough, people have even kept poisonous snakes like the pit vipers as pets and as expected, it didn’t end well. Cincinnati woman Alexandria Hall was the owner of numerous reptiles including the highly poisonous Urutu pit viper. The snake bit her on a fateful evening of 2004, however, Hall remained conscious enough to drive herself to the hospital.
Unfortunately, she died a week later due to complications from the bite and the local police and herpetologists decided to investigate her house. Upon entering, they found almost a dozen poisonous snakes and other reptiles including two alligators free roaming around the house.
4. Humphrey The Hippo Kills His Adoptive Dad
Fun fact about Hippos is that they are probably one of the most dangerous animals on this planet. They are responsible for causing more human deaths in Africa than crocodiles and that’s not all, they’re even known to kill crocodiles and will attack anything without any provocation whatsoever. Unfortunately, former South African Army major Marius Els did not believe in all of this and had to pay the price.
He had adopted Humphrey, a 1.2-ton hippo when it was only five months old and made attempts to domesticate it. This did not end well as the hippo ended up killing Els after severely biting him. Not only this, Humphrey had broken out of his pen many times before and was responsible for killing calves on the property. African authorities have warned people since then from keeping hippos as pets as it is impossible to train them.
3. Ronald Huff Eaten By His Pet Lizards
For reasons that are beyond our understanding, Ronald Huff, a resident of Newark, Delaware was the owner of seven Nile Monitor lizards in 2002. When he didn’t show up for work, police officers decided to check up on him and enter his apartment. What they ended up discovering was a horrific scene; the monitor lizards were feeding on their owner’s corpse. That is the stuff of nightmares.
An autopsy report was unable to determine the cause of death so it was unsure whether the monitors had any role in the death of Huff or did he die under natural circumstances. This event led to stricter rules related to the international trade of exotic pets and a shipment of as many as 2,000 reptiles was impounded by the Miami office of United States Fish and Wildlife Service.
2. Harry And Sally Ate Their Owner Who Committed Suicide
Two pugs named Harry and Sally were forced to resort to eating the face of their owner after they did not have access to food for weeks on end. This incident was a very sad one since their 51-year-old owner had committed suicide by shooting himself in the face, after which the dogs were left to starve. They survived by eating the brain, bits of the face and torso of their now deceased owner.
No evidence of blood or human tissue was found in the digestive system of either pup, however, there was no other plausible explanation for the missing torso on the body. Harry and Sally were taken by the authorities to the local humane society where they could settle in and be adopted again.
1. Simba The Lion Attacks Owner While He Tried To Clean The Cage
Illinois residents Al Abell and his wife Kathie oversaw a small zoo situated on a farm which they called Cougar Bluff Enterprise. One of the biggest animals that they had was a 500-pound African lion named Simba. Big cats usually require a lot of careful handling especially when they are being fed or their cages need to be cleaned. Abell was normally very aware of this but a simple mistake in 2004 cost him his life.
The 52-year-old man was attacked by Simba while he was attempting to clean the cage, having forgotten to put the large cat in its secondary enclosure. While the exact details of how the lion attacked him are unknown, Abell’s wife reportedly returned to the property a short while after the attack and found her husband to be missing. Upon further investigation, she discovered that Simba was roaming free from its enclosure and pacing aggressively nearby. The police were called who after being unable to retrieve Abell’s body, had to shoot the animal. Abell had bled to death after suffering a massive bite in his leg from the lion.
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