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Old August 19th, 2005, 11:03 AM
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Tiger kills teen during photo pose

MOUND VALLEY, Kansas (AP) -- A Siberian tiger attacked and killed a teenage girl who was posing for photos at a family-run animal sanctuary Thursday in southeast Kansas, authorities said.

The Labette County Sheriff's office identified the victim as Haley R. Hilderbrand, 17, of Altamont. A statement from the office said Hilderbrand was at the Lost Creek Animal Sanctuary posing for photos with the 7-year-old tiger, which was being restrained by its handler, when the animal turned and attacked her.

Officers and handlers killed the animal. Emergency personnel were not able to revive Hilderbrand.

Doug Billingsly and his family opened the 80-acre sanctuary in 1994. According to the sanctuary's Web site, its animals include lions, leopards, tigers and bears.

Billingsly didn't immediately return a phone call for comment.

Copyright 2005 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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Old August 19th, 2005, 11:04 AM
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You know what pisses me off,and i do feel bad for the family,but we do things with animlas that are wild,that we should not do ,and then something like this happens and the animal gets shot,i think it is wrong................................
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Old August 19th, 2005, 02:24 PM
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Why do the multiple levels of governments actually allow this business to function?
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Old August 19th, 2005, 02:31 PM
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-You definetly take your chances interacting with wild animals, too bad someone had to die, for a few cute snapshots.
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Old August 19th, 2005, 02:43 PM
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Why do people even think that posing with a wild animal is cute???

When I was visiting Isla de Mujeres in Cancun, there was the opportunity to take a photo with sharks, and I thought, how cruel it is to the sharks to only swim in a small confined area and constantly restrained by the handler. What a shame! Apparently a few other tourists shared my opinion and we just walked away. It was not a pretty scene.
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Old August 19th, 2005, 02:45 PM
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I feel the same way about "swim with the dolphins" tourist traps. Having to put up with loud, sweaty tourists all day, great life.
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Old August 19th, 2005, 05:20 PM
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I think a lot of these wild-cat sanctuaries are good,they often take retired circus-animals and "pets"who have outgrown their welcome.
Often these animals have been defanged and de-clawed,horrific stuff,but a sanctuary is usually the only place they can go,either that or be killed.
Unfortunately in this story,the handler should have know the danger,but he did not get shot,the Tiger did :sad:
Then we have the other places where beautiful big cats are kept just to be shot by a very cowardly so called hunter...but that's another story...
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Old August 19th, 2005, 05:32 PM
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I agree they are good,but a kid should not be put that close to an animal like that,i know if i had a kid NOWAY...
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Old August 19th, 2005, 05:50 PM
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I think big cat sancutuaries are good, but none should allow people to get close enough for this to happen. Big cats should only be handled when absolutly necisary and by an experienced handler.

If I ever have enough money my dream would be to open a big cat sanctuary (it is legal here to own big cats so lots of them are pets and end up outgrowing their welcome or become dangerous because they are so close to people). I would love to give them a place to live out the rest of their lives peacfully and in proper cages with proper care. I would let public view them but only through a tour with an experienced handler and they couldn't ever get close enough to get hurt by or hurt the animals. The only reason I would allow people to view them is to educate them on how big they get and why they should never be kept as pets.
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