Skip to Main Content

Bear Wrestler Dies in Sex Game

Written by PETA | July 13, 2011

Former bear wrestler and longtime PETA foe Sam Mazzola was found dead recently, handcuffed to a waterbed and bound with chains and padlocks. He apparently choked to death on a sex toy that was lodged in his throat and that obstructed his breathing. He was also wearing a leather mask with the eyes and mouth zipped shut and a two-piece metal sphere covering his head.

Mazzola’s history of dominating, controlling, and humiliating powerful animals may now make sense.

Prior to the bizarre circumstances of his passing, Mazzola was perhaps best known for the death of Brent Kandra, who died last year after being mauled by one of Mazzola’s bears.

But Mazzola—who for years, until PETA got his license pulled, took bears out on the road and charged people to “wrestle” them—had brushes with the law and spent time in prison for trafficking in cocaine. His federal license to exhibit animals was permanently revoked in 2009, and he was fined nearly $14,000 for multiple violations of federal law, including threatening federal agents and falsely claiming that an inspector solicited a bribe. One of the bears he kept caged escaped Mazzola’s compound and attacked a neighbor, causing injuries and property damage. Another young man was killed by a bear in the compound last year. PETA had petitioned the local government to close Mazzola’s place down, move the animals out, and charge Mazzola with negligent homicide. An investigation was in progress.

Furryscaly/cc by 2.0

Some animals, including bears, wolves, and big cats, still remain in small barren cages on Mazzola’s property, and others have already been transferred to questionable operations

Please join PETA in asking the Ohio Department of Natural Resources to seize all the animals over which they have jurisdiction and to see that they are placed in reputable sanctuaries. And please refuse to fund deplorable roadside zoos with your entry fee.

Written by Jennifer O’Connor

Commenting is closed.
  • wolf lover says:

    Sad thing is some of these animals had been left behind. Talk about getting your facts straight. Also cannot understand why so many people stick up for a man that at some point stopped caring about these animals.

  • Dee says:

    The people in charge of the placement of these animals left behind have chosen good places for these animals, and they will be treated very well! How can anyone comment on something they know nothing about??? If you watch the news reports, the bears and wolves went to a 250,000 acre sanctuary in Colorado. They will have a great life, and all other animals were placed at good sanctuaries! Get the facts before you comment on something!

  • Tamra Tury says:

    As a resident of Lorain County I ask that the ODNR step up to the plate and do whats right. Ensure the late Sam Mazzola’s animals left behind be put in a proper sanctuary and are not left with others who will give them the same mistreatment Sam Mazzola did. This action is long over due and would not be needed if our current Govn. would of continued the 90 Ban on Exotic Animals. I will do my part and remember this misjuctice come next election day. Please do yours and see that each and everyone of these creatures of God goes to a reputable sanctuary and NOT to others who will treat them as Sam Mazzola did. Thank You

  • Christine says:

    Thank you, Karma Police!

  • Sally Lawrence says:

    yes I did email ODNR asking for rehab, suitable sanctuary for these poor animals. I hope it helps. What about Big Cat Rescue in Florida? Could they take the tiger?

  • Sandra says:

    Fitting way for the bastard to die, don’t you think? That’s what you call ‘karma in action’….

  • Jacqueline Lavanchy says:

    Please find them a good place to live, after all this suffering, may they live in peace and quiet.

  • Melissa says:

    May the bears and other animals residing at the compound now have the chance to live life according to their intended purpose… wrestling humans was NOT it!

  • tonileeee says:

    These animals must be rescued and placed in the best possible sanctuary. They have already suffered enough!

  • Anonymous says:

    Good ridence Sam Mazzola. For Bears justice has been served.

  • Karen says:

    Good riddens Dude….the world won’t miss him Freedom for his animals

  • annie bode says:

    Please stop the pain and suffering of these animals now, and place them in a sanctuary to live the rest of their lives in peace. Please show compassion.

  • Angie says:

    Come all have a heart and allow these babies to be free to survive. They need to eat sleep an breath just like you an I!

  • Rose says:

    Gee, why do I not feel bad for him…………??

  • Gail says:

    These animals have been thru enough…send them to a reputable sanctuary!!!

  • kobe says:

    which is worse hunting or letting companies keep thousands of animals locked up to be sold at Cub? Just want logical responses

  • Sterlinglight says:

    Bear wrestling eh? Wow…ok… That’s just too much testosterone for me. I know when he reaches the other side ge will have the worst punishment of all… His heart will no the truth on oneness and the actions of his life will shatter infront of him. May he cone back in his next life as a test monkey for monsanto!

  • Holly Page says:

    Please free these animals.

  • asha pearl says:

    Now that this man is dead, these animals have a chance to live the life they were made to live. Please set them free in a sanctuary and moreover they would be happy and the people would be safer than living in terror wondering what would happen if the animals were to escape. Pls pls do the needful

  • Selina Haigh says:

    FREE THE ANIMALS, Now the horrible person has died.

  • Lilly Pulido says:

    After the life they’ve had, it’s time they get to live a beter one starting now. Please do something nice for these prefious animals.

  • Belle says:

    This guy was irresponsible, greedy scum.