Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Sam Mazzola's Bear Killed a Man (UPDATED)

Posted By on Wed, Sep 1, 2010 at 1:16 PM

This bear is completely harmless, until he is harmful.
  • This bear is completely harmless, until he is harmful.

Update II: Lots of happenings involving Mazzola since the initial attack.

First, a judge ordered that Mazzola under go mental health treatment.

Second, the AP writes today that Mazzola didn't have workplace injury insurance in case an employee, like Brett Kandra, was killed or injured on the job. Officials are probably going to frown upon that discovery.


Original story and other updates after the jump.

Update: The AP reports that the bear that mauled and killed 24-year-old Brent Kandra has been euthanized. Kandra's father was present when the bear was put down.

Also, Mazzola has said that he and other workers have evaluated their safety procedures and are satisfied with what they see. He says Kandra's death was a tragic accident that could have happened to anyone working with the bear and he has no plans to change how they animals are kept or handled.


Brent Kandra, the worker who was mauled on Thursday by a bear owned by Sam Mazzola at Mazzola's Columbia Station home, has died.

It's the latest in a long string of legal and safety issues Mazzola has faced with the wild animals — lions, tigers, and bears — that he's kept at his home and an animal sanctuary in Ohio.

19 Action News reports that Lorain County Sheriffs say Mazzola had all the proper paperwork to house the animals.

Unfortunately, that might not be enough.

If you're not familiar with Mazzola — and geez, you should be by now — he's infamous around Northeast Ohio for World Animal Studios, his former bear wrestling and animal act that landed Mazzola in endless hot water with authorities over the past three decades.

This site breaks down the infractions, police reports, investigations, convictions, and various legal issues Mazzola's bears and his act have caused in the past. There are at least 27 incidents involving everything from USDA citations to injuries caused by his bears during wrestling acts.

It all makes you think it was just a matter of time before someone died, even if what happened to Brent Kandra Thursday was simply a tragic accident.

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