No Liger Menu, unfortunately
2008 Reader Submission
Wendy/Darwin says, "Accepted into the Archive."
Being volunteer and being smart at the same time isn't that easy, as Peter Getz, 32, serving at the Safari's Animal Sanctuary in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, finally found out the hard way.
Despite all rules to the contrary, he entered the cage of a liger, a cross between a male lion and a female tiger.
He was able to leave the cage, got airlifted to the next hospital, where he died of his injuries.
Even the sanctuary's manager mentioned the rules: "We try to have all the procedures in place but for some reason they weren't followed this time. In all my years we've stressed that whatever you do, don't open that gate."
By not following very obvious rules, Peter Getz managed to almost turn into the Liger's next meal, and a well deserved one on that, as deserved as the Darwin award he will finally get, in order to serve as an example why big cats aren't as docile as the small ones.
Massive liger - cross between lion and tiger - mauls U.S. volunteer to
death after he breaks rules to enter its cage
By Mail Foreign Service
Last updated at 3:43 PM on 31st October
A volunteer at a US animal sanctuary has died after he was savaged by a
1,000-pound liger - a rare cross between a lion and a tiger. Peter Getz,
32, suffered fatal puncture wounds in his neck and back as Rocky, who
weighs twice that of an ordinary lion and is 20 times more powerful than a
human, pounced on him during feeding time.
An investigation was under way last night into why Mr Getz, an accomplished
big cat keeper, broke with protocol and entered Rocky's enclosure at
Safari's Animal Sanctuary in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. Bleeding heavily, he
hauled himself out of the enclosure with help from two fellow keepers but
collapsed outside and was airlifted to hospital, where he died last night.
"This is just horrid," said the sanctuary's owner, Lori Ensign. "We try to
have all the procedures in place but for some reason they weren't followed
this time. In all my years we've stressed that whatever you do, don't open
Rocky, who came to the sanctuary from a zoo in North Carolina that closed
because it went broke, is so powerful that his toys were bowling balls and
he would ordinarily be fed fresh meat via a pole poked through the
fence. But Ms Ensign also stated that when Rocky was younger, she would
ride on his back and that he was playful and gentle. Pictures on her
website show her walking a tiger on a leash and bottle-feeding a cub.
Animal Planet host and wildlife expert Jeff Corwin said yesterday: "You're
talking about an animal that is 20 times more powerful than the human that
was feeding it. This animal could have, by its nature, a very
individualistic, nice, personality...but one bad moment can be critical, if
not lethal, to a human being."
Ligers are a cross between a male lion and a female tiger and are the
biggest of all big cats.
The non-profit Safari's sanctuary is run by volunteers and regulated by
state wildlife officials, who were investigating last night. They will
determine whether Rocky will have to be euthanised. Eight years ago, a bear
was reportedly put down after biting keepers at the refuge, which is home
to around 200 rescued animals.
Mr Getz had volunteered there for over a year and had previously worked at
Dr Dan Danner, a local veterinarian who knew both the keeper and the liger,
said: "Rocky is a big old baby, but if you've got an offensive lineman and
they get excited, they are going to chomp a little harder and get
Submitted on 11/01/2008
Daily Mail, 31.10.2008
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