Rampaging Camel Kills Two Men After Escaping Tennessee Petting Zoo

By author of The Realblog with Stephanie Mallory

Officers put the animal down when it became aggressive toward them

A rampaging camel attacked and killed two men after escaping from a petting zoo near Memphis, Tennessee, on March 10.

Livescience.com reports that the officers from the Obion County Sheriffs Department arrived at the Shirley Farms petting zoo after receiving a call about a camel attacking people.

A press release shared to the Obion County Sheriff's Office Facebook page stated, "Deputies arrived on scene to find two unconscious victims on the ground at Shirley Farms and a camel still on the loose. Obion County Sheriff's Office, Lake County Sheriff's Office, Ridgely Police Department, Tennessee Highway Patrol, and the Lake County Rescue Squad were all on scene attempting to render aid and move the victims to a safe place."

The raging camel also attacked an Obion sheriff's vehicle. When the animal directed its attention toward deputies who were trying to move a victim to EMS, the officers put the camel down.

Sadly, the two male victims were pronounced dead on the scene.

According to past inspection reports by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Shirley Farms petting zoo had little water available for the camels and no barrier between the public and many of the animals. No attendant was present at the time of inspection.

The Guardian posted the following quote from the USDA from a July 2019 report, "The only access to drinking water for the camels and zebra was a very small shallow muddy creek running through their enclosure. There was no access to any water troughs or other potable water source. Access to potable water is necessary to prevent dehydration and spread of disease/parasites." 

An Oct. 3, 2018, report read, "There is a barrier present between the public and the non-human primates but not for any of the other species present including a zebra, camels, llamas, alpacas, goats, sheep, pigs, fallow deer, kangaroo, zebu, rabbits, cavy, and prairie dogs. The only attendant noted present at the exhibit was the cashier who does not have a direct line of sight on any of the animals."

The reason the camel became aggressive and escaped is unknown.

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