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Those who love their pets tend to enjoy all animals. Our animal owners are no different. Check in on News-Herald staffers Robin Palmer and Cheryl Sadler as they share their own animal tales and announce upcoming events in Lake and Geauga counties.

Monday, October 5, 2009

In the News: Quite a wild and crazy day

Sunday did not bode well for interaction with wildlife, domestic or otherwise, according to the Associated Press.

In Allentown, Pa., a 350-pound pet black bear killed its owner, 37-year-old Kelly Ann Walz, as she cleaned the steel and concrete cage where it lived near her house.

Also a licensed owner of a Bengal tiger and African lion, Walz had thrown a shovelful of dog food to one side of the cage so she could clean the other side. Officials said the bear must have lost interest, and was later shot and killed.

Stories like this make me wonder how many times the dog-food toss worked before it failed - and whether the owner even imagined it ever would.

Also Sunday, the sheriff of Polk County, Fla., reported a female resident "filleted" by a pack of five raccoons as she tried to chase them from her yard.

Gretchen Whitted, 74, suffered extensive cuts from her neck to her legs, and was treated for rabies, though officials don't believe the pack was infected. The incident has since triggered a cat-food-and-sardines-baited hunt for her attackers - so far, to no avail.

Tale two reminds me of a particularly haunting episode of my favorite radio show, Chicago Public Radio's This American Life. Consider listening to the 11-minute first act of And the Call Was Coming from the Basement and tell me it's not as frightening as any ghost story you've ever heard.

-- Sandra M. Klepach,


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