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10 Times Animals Mauled Their Owners to Death

by Jeffrey Morris
fact checked by Darci Heikkinen

Many people dream of keeping wild and exotic animals as pets—some of these dreamers have gone on to realize their wish against all odds. Sometimes it all ends well, but at times the relationship between man and animal goes horribly wrong to the extent that these animal companions turn around to kill their owners and even eat them. On the other hand, there have been people who were cautious enough to keep only domestic animals close, yet they suffered the same fate. These are ten times animals mauled their owners to death:

Related: 10 Terrifying Tales Of When Squirrels Attack

10 Andre Lumboga Was Killed and Eaten by His Own Dogs

An Indonesian man, Andre Lumboga, left seven dogs without food and water for two weeks and went on a holiday. The starving dogs pounced on him as soon as he returned, killed him, and ate him. His death would not have been discovered if not for a curious neighborhood guard who saw abandoned luggage lined up at the front of his house without seeing any sign of the man.

When the guard approached the house, the foul smell emanating from the house prompted him to call the police. The deceased man’s skull was found in the kitchen, and his body was found in front of his house. The attackers were seven dogs in total, and they had killed and eaten two other dogs within the two weeks he was away. Ironically, Lumboga is from the northern Indonesian Island of Sulawesi, where the local diet is famous for including dogs.[1]

9 Michal Prasek Was Mauled to Death by His Lion

Czech man attacked and killed by lion he kept as pet

A man named Michal Prasek kept a lion and a lioness for breeding in his backyard in the Czech Republic. The pets were kept in homemade enclosures. He had drawn concern from local residents and authorities for his bizarre choice of pets, but nobody was willing to go out of their way to stop him—maybe out of fear of his wild animal companions.

Prasek was denied planning permission to build the enclosures where he housed the animals and was subsequently fined for illegal breeding. However, his conflict with authorities reached a stalemate after he refused to let anyone onto his property. In the end, Michal Prasek was mauled to death by the lion, leading authorities to shoot both wild animals.[2]

8 Oregon Farmer Was Eaten by His Hogs

Farmer eaten by his own hogs

Terry Vance Garner was a farmer in Coos County, near the Oregon coast. On one fateful day, he set out to feed his hogs but never returned. A family member later found Garner’s dentures and pieces of his body in the hog enclosure several hours later. Most of his remains had been eaten by the hogs by the time he was discovered.

Garner was a Vietnam war veteran who suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, and the greatest panacea to his condition was living on the farm. He was devoted to the animals on his farm, breeding different types of animals, including birds. Ironically, Garner could have unknowingly encouraged his own death at the hands of his animals.

A year before he was mauled to death by hogs, a large sow bit him for accidentally stepping on a piglet. He initially made the decision to kill the sow but later changed his mind and let the sow live. At last, he would die at the hands of the animals he had so much compassion for.[3]

7 Cynthia Lee Gamble Mauled by Her Own Tiger

Cynthia Lee Gamble of Danforth Township in Pine County, Minnesota, was a woman who loved wildlife. She edited and wrote wildlife documentaries and was involved in television and feature films. She raised, trained, and filmed wolves, wolverines, coyotes, and foxes. Cynthia seemed to have a particular interest in tigers. Before her death, she had kept tigers on her property for at least a decade, and they had never created problems for her.

Even the fact that Cynthia was not a novice at keeping wild cats could not keep her safe and alive. On the fateful day of her death, she was cleaning a Bengal tiger’s cage and accidentally left one of the drop doors open, exposing her to an attack from behind. The tiger quickly took the opportunity to maul her to death.[4]

6 Al Abell Mauled to Death by Pet Lion

Just like the previous entry, forgetfulness while cleaning a wild animal’s cage led to the death of Al Abell. Ordinarily, Al Abell was fond of cleaning the cage of his pet lion, but he had never done this alone. On that fateful day, Al Abell was on his own at his Illinois farm and moved the pet lion from the main cage to the shift pen so that he could clean the main enclosure. Unfortunately, he left the gate between the main cage and the shift pen open while cleaning. The lion promptly pounced on the man and mauled him to death. Surprisingly, Al Abell and his wife had both raised Simba, a 5-year-old African Barbary lion, since it was a cub.

On the day the tragedy occurred, Kathie Abell left the house to run some errands. When she returned, Al Abell was nowhere to be found. She also discovered that the lion was outside its enclosure, pacing about in agitation while the remaining wild animals on the farm were frightened and uneasy. The scene unfolding before her eyes terrified her, and she called the sheriff. When police officers arrived at the scene, they had to shoot and kill Simba to prevent it from escaping and causing further havoc.[5]

5 East Texas Man Killed by Pet Deer

East Texas man killed by pet deer.

Gerald Rushton, an east Texas man who raised exotic deer on his property, went into the animal’s pen to feed it, only for it to get aggressive and attack him. Rushton was mauled to death right in his backyard. Family members who witnessed the attack alerted authorities, but Rushton could not be saved. He died from excessive blood loss when the deer pierced him with its antlers.

The man raised the deer illegally as authorities do not issue permits for citizens to keep red stag deer in their homes due to the extremely wild nature of the animal. On the day Rushton died, the deer was also killed by responding deputies.[6]

4 Woman Killed by Her Pet Wolf-Dogs

This Is Why Wolfdogs Are Illegal

Sandra L. Piovesan of Salem Township loved breeding wolf-dogs. She kept a pack of nine of them inside a pen on her property. One day, she entered the wolf-dogs’ enclosure in her backyard, and the animals attacked her, killing her in the process. She was also partially eaten by her own pets. Piovesan’s daughter suspected something was wrong when her mother failed to show up for a 10:00am meeting the following Monday.

Piovesan’s daughter contacted her father, who went to Sandra’s property only to find her dead in the wolf-dogs’ enclosure. She had bled to death after being clawed, bitten, and later dragged into the enclosure by the animals. Most of the wolf-dogs weighed 70 to 100 pounds (31.7 to 45.4 kilograms), and some were 7 to 8 years old. A wildlife expert believed the animals became agitated and aggressive because of the season.[7]

3 Temperamental Pet Bull Kills Owner

Ricky Weinhold of Burks County, Pennsylvania, was attacked on a fateful Saturday by a 1-ton bull he raised as a pet on a farm he leased in Wernersville, about 60 miles (97 kilometers) northwest of Philadelphia. The irony of this incident is that Weinhold had been warned by the owners of the property to get rid of the pet bull because of its “temperamental” behavior. The property owners believed the bull had a bad disposition and could not be trusted.

Weinhold kept about 10 head of cattle at the farm, all of them he raised as pets. In the summer of the previous year, before the fatal incident, Weinhold had been attacked and injured by the same bull. He broke several ribs during the attack, yet he didn’t see this as an ominous sign. Although Weinhold loved his pets, the killer bull did not reciprocate the love.[8]

2 Man Killed by His Own “Watch” Goat

In the countryside of Cherokee County, Georgia, Carl Hulsey, a 77-year-old retired poultry worker who had an innovative approach to the security of the crops on his farmland, got more than what he bargained for when the goat that he was training to be a watch-goat attacked and killed him. The training routine was too much for the goat as Hulsey frequently beat it, believing that this would make it aggressive enough to protect his rolling acres from predators. The reverse was the case.

Rather than protect Husley’s investment, the man became the victim of his own watch-goat. One day, the goat butted him once, then twice before Husley fell to his knees. Husley scrambled onto the porch, and the animal clambered right behind him. The goat rammed its master again, and he toppled off the porch and died instantly. The coroner determined that Hulsey had died due to blunt trauma to the abdominal cavity.[9]

1 International Footballer Mauled to Death by Mob of Pet Dogs

North West man mauled to death by his three dogs identified as Philemon Mulala

A 60-year-old retired former Zambian international footballer, Philemon Mulala, who had raised three puppies till they became grown dogs, did not expect the dogs he was devoted to could turn on him. But that was exactly what happened. On the day of the tragic event, Mulala’s wife heard the dogs barking in the backyard but did not bother to investigate the cause of the commotion since they lived on a busy street and the dogs were fond of barking at pedestrians and vehicles passing by.

However, when she searched for her husband in the house and couldn’t find him, she decided to look in the back garden. It was there she found Mulala lying motionless in the garden. She was shocked to discover that her husband was killed by the three dogs they had been devoted to. The three pet dogs were removed from the house by the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.[10]

fact checked by Darci Heikkinen