Top 10 Deadly Attacks From Exotic Pets

Thanks to our reader Kate who sent us the idea!

1Man killed by pet spider

Mark Voegel, 30, was found dead in his Dortmund, Germany apartment. His body was draped in spider webs and more than 200 spiders, several snakes, thousands of termites, and a gecko were feasting on his corpse. Proper authorities were alerted when concerned neighbours noticed a horrendous stench eminating from the apartment. His black widow, Bettina, is believed to have administered the deadly bite. Voeger's apartment has been described as both a "zoo" and a "jungle" by authorities. He was dead for somewhere between seven and fourteen days when his corpse was found. Enough time for the creepy-crawlies to make a new home out of his apartment.

NOTE: according to some sources, The Sun may had invented this story. (Thanks, Sandra)

2Woman killed by pet black bear

Kelly Ann Walz, of Allentown, Pennsylvania, was mauled to death by her pet black bear. Kelly reportedly had a pet black bear, an African Lion and a Bengal Tiger, all of which she kept in cages at her home. Walz was cleaning out the cage, had her back turned to the bear after giving it some dog food when it attacked her. It appears that a neighbor came in, shot and killed the animal. Kelly Ann Walz was 37 years old.

3Woman killed by pet viper

A 44-year-old woman died after being bitten by one of her venomous snakes. Her modest, unassuming two-story house was home to at least nine poisonous snakes and more than a dozen other snakes, lizards and alligators. Police believe an urutu pit viper bit the woman and neighbors said she drove herself to Mercy Fairfield Hospital. She was later transported to University Hospital, where she remained in critical condition until her death three days later. Police broke down the woman's front door, and three herpetologists from Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Gardens entered the house to check if there were more poisonous snakes inside the house. The reptile keepers checked an upstairs bedroom and found more than a half-dozen large lizards running around. Among the animals roaming free around the house were two monitor lizards, two alligators, one rhinoceros iguana, two Solomon Islands tree skinks and one tegu lizard. All the venomous snakes were in secure plastic cases throughout the house. But the herpetologists found non-venomous animals under boxes and under piles of clothes.

4Woman killed by pet camel

An Australian woman was killed by a pet camel given to her as a 60th birthday present after the animal apparently tried to have sex with her. The 10-month-old animal knocked Pam Weaver to the ground, stomped on her head and then lay on top of her at her sheep and cattle property near Mitchell, about 600km west of Brisbane. The woman's husband discovered her body about 6.30pm after he returned from feeding stock. Police said the pet had a history of odd behaviour, attempting to smother the family's pet goat on many occasions by sitting on it. The woman had suffered "one definite footprint" on one side of her face and one on her arm.

The family had intended giving the woman a llama or an alpaca for her birthday, but they were too expensive.

5Man killed by his pet tiger

66 year old Norman Buwalda from Ontario was mauled to death by his 300 kg pet tiger. He was the chairman of the Canadian Exotic Animal Owner's Association, and actively fought for the right to keep dangerous big cats as pets. In June 2004 a 10 year old boy was seriously injured at Buwalda's home when a pet Siberian tiger mauled the child during a photo opportunity. Concerned neighbours campaigned for a new bylaw which prohibited people from keeping exotic pets, but Mr Buwalda fought the bylaw and won. However a few years later Buwalda entered the cage of one of his pet tigers alone, and for some unknown reason it attacked and killed him. A family member discovered his mutilated body in the tiger's cage and managed to coerce the tiger into a separate pen. Once the tiger was isolated Mr Buwalda's body was recovered.

6Man killed by pet African lion

A Hardin County man who kept exotic animals was apparently attacked and killed by a pet African lion. Al Abell was apparently changing the bedding of the lion's pen when he was attacked. He did not lock a gate between the lion's large enclosure and a smaller pen where the animal should have been moved while the area was being cleaned. Abell's wife returned to the couple's home near Elizabethtown in southeastern Illinois shortly before 6 p.m., saw the lion out of its pen and called the sheriff's office. Deputies killed the lion and then discovered Abell lying nearby.

7Woman killed by pet wolves

Sandra L. Piovesan bled to death after being mauled by a pack of nine wolf dogs that she had raised as pets and was so devoted to that she once told a neighbor they "give me unqualified love." Ms. Piovesan, 50, of Salem, was found in a caged rectangular enclosure in her backyard, home for nine half-wolves, half-dogs that were later euthanized. The autopsy, performed by Dr. Cyril H. Wecht, found that the Westmoreland County woman suffered multiple soft tissue injuries.

Ms. Piovesan treated her wolves like children, and said as much when neighbors asked about them.The fenced area in her backyard is about the width of a three-lane road, running the length of her house. The area was divided into sections: one for the wolf-dogs, one for her pair of Rottweilers, another for wolf puppies, with whom she'd play and romp. Ed Gieselman, owner of an interior design business across the street, asked her about her attachment to the animals. Ms. Piovesan said, in response, that "they give me unqualified love."

8Man killed by pet bull

A man was killed by his own pet bull a day before his 53rd birthday after being attacked by the 'temperamental' animal. Ricky Weinhold was attacked by the one-ton bull on a farm where he leased barn space in Wernersville, northwest of Philadelphia. His body wasn't found until the next day by the farm owner's son. The bull had become increasingly 'temperamental' and the farm owners had encouraged Weinhold to get rid of his pet. Weinhold previously had several of his ribs broken in an attack by the animal. He had around 10 head of cattle at the farm, all of them pets.

9Man chocked to death by Pet boa constrictor

10Man killed by his three pet bullmastiffs

A Slovenian who saved his three dogs from being put down for attacking humans was himself mauled to death by them. The three dogs bit their 52-year-old owner to death in Ljubljana. Four years ago, the three bullmastiffs attacked and seriously injured a passer-by outside their owner's house. They spent years in custody pending legal hearings, but when one of them attacked a dog handler, authorities ordered them to be put down. Their owner, a doctor, succeeded in his legal appeals to get the dogs back, sparking a national controversy. After his death, an opposition party said the agriculture minister should resign for failing to stop the dogs from being released. The dogs attacked the man in his garden, killing him before the police arrived. All three dogs were put down following the attack.

The man (who was actually born as a woman), was sexually abusing the dogs. Police found pictures and other evidence of "sustained" sexual abuse of the dogs in their owner's garage. (Thanks, Luki)