From a woman mauled to death by her pet tiger to a man torn apart and eaten by his pet lizards and spiders, we take a peep at 10 pets that killed their owners.
10. Pet Bengal Tiger
In 2006, a 52 year old woman was mauled to death by her 500 pound Bengal tiger in Pine County, Minnesota. Authorities were called the the property after Cynthia Lee Gamble’s body was discovered by a man who arrived at the property to perform a controlled burn. Gamble was a writer and editor of wildlife documentaries and had previously trained animals for films such as Vertical Limit, released in 2000. A veterinarian had to destroy the very agitated animal at the scene before the authorities could gain access to Gambles remains.
9. Simba The Lion
In 2004, Al Abell was bitten and killed by his pet lion Simba on his Illinois farm he ran with his wife. The 52 year old man was attacked while cleaning the large cat’s enclosure after failing to secure the animal inside it’s holding pen. It was the first time Abell had attempted to clean the enclosure without the help of his wife Kathie who was running errands at the time. Abell was not officially qualified to care for the animal as Kathie was the only one who held a licence to keep big cats. Official reports concluded that Abell was in poor health and was suffering from forgetfulness prior to the incident.
When the police arrived on the scene they found the lion pacing aggressively and were unable to reach the suspected location of Mr Abell. The lion was shot with an AK 47 and Abell’s body was discovered shortly afterwards.
8. Pet Black Bear
In 2009, 37 year old Kelly Ann Walz was mauled to death by her 350 pound pet black bear. Walz was cleaning the interior of the bear’s enclosure when it attacked. Her children witnessed the incident and summoned their neighbor Scott Castone for help who shot the bear while it was still on top of Walz. Walz’s husband was licensed to keep the bear along with lions, tigers and other dangerous animals but had let his permits lapse prior to the attack.
7. Pet Camel
In 2007, exoctic pet owner Pam Weaver was crushed to death by her pet camel. Weaver’s husband had bought the 330 pound present for his wife’s 60th birthday. Camel expert Chris Hill told reports that the camel’s behaviour was most likely sexual. He believed that the camel, who had previously exhibited strange behaviour by trying to mount the family’s pet goat, was most likely trying to mate with Weaver and accidentally trampled her to death.
6. Pet Boa Constrictor
In 2010, Cory Byrne became the first person in the United States to be killed by a boa constrictor despite his family warning him of the dangers of owning the dangerous pet. Byrne, who had the snake around his neck at the time, was showing it to his roommate’s girlfriend when it strangled him to death.
5. Alex The Rat
In 2013, 10 year old Aidan Pankey was rushed to hospital complaining of severe stomach pains. He died hours later from a bacterial infection commonly known as rat-bite fever. Aidan’s grandmother had recently given him a rat that he named Alex, to provide companionship for a pet rat he already owned. The rat was purchased from pet store Petco and was in the possession of the boy for about 2 weeks before he became ill and passed away.
4. Pet Pit Viper
In 2004, an unidentified woman died after being bitten by her pet pit viper. The 44 year old woman drove herself to hospital after she received the bite but died sometime after being administered. Police broke down her front door and along with Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden specialists began searching the house. Inside they found at least 9 poisonous snakes still contained in their enclosures along with several large lizards and 2 alligators free roaming around the house.
3. Travis The Chimp
In 2009 Sandra Herold’s pet chimpanzee Travis mauled her friend Charla Nash, leaving her with horrific wounds. Travis went berserk after stealing Herold’s keys and escaping the house when Herold called her friend Nash to come over and help catch the chimp. Travis attacked Nash after seeing her holding one of his favourite toys, tearing off her nose, lips and both hands. Herold called the authorities who initially thought it was a joke until they heard her screaming “He’s eating her!” The police arrived on the scene and shot Travis several times. He retreated to the house and was found dead a short time later. A toxicology report confirmed Herolds’ statement that she had given the chimp Xanax-laced tea prior to the attack. Xanax which is commonly given to humans for anxiety and panic disorders has occasionally been known to cause paradoxical symptoms of hallucinations, rage and mania.
Doctors were able to save Nash’s life and managed to re-attach her jaw but she was left permanently blind from the ordeal.
This wasn’t the first incident involving the chimp. In 2003, Travis escaped from the Herolds’ car and chased a man who threw something through the open window that hit the chimp. When police arrived they managed to coax Travis back into the car after he chased and threatened several officers.
2. Bettina The Black Widow Spider
In 2004, Mark Vogel was found dead in his apartment after neighbours alerted authorities of a bad smell coming from his apartment. The scene they discovered was described by the authorities as “A horror movie.” Vogel’s corpse was found draped over the sofa and covered in spider’s webs. He had spiders coming out of his nose and mouth while his body had large chunks of flesh ripped from it by lizards he also kept. The chunks of flesh were found in the webs of several tarantulas and bird-eating spiders nesting throughout the house.
It was thought that Vogel’s pet black widow spider Bettina, had bitten and killed him after the heating systems on the spiders’ enclosures had malfunctioned, opening the lids and setting the creepy critters free to roam the apartment.
1. Gypsy The Albino Python
In 2009, 2 year old Shaianna was found dead in her cot after her mother’s pet albino Burmese python had escaped it’s tank and strangled her to death. Shaianna was discovered in her cot with the snake tightly wrapped around her and it’s fangs embedded in her forehead. The 8 foot 6 inch snake had escaped its enclosure at least 5 times in the 4 weeks prior to the incident. Investigators said that the python had not been fed for a month and was severely underweight.
The snake’s owner, Jaren Hare and her partner Charles Darnell were sentenced to 12 years in prison after they were convicted of third degree murder, manslaughter and child neglect.
That was 10 pets that killed their owners. Do have any gruesome stories of ungrateful pets turning on their masters? Let us know!