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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.

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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.
  • Danielle says:

    Please give these poor animals who have had such a bad experience with humans a comfortable and happy ending.

  • Anne says:

    Please save these bears!!!!

  • Alishia Wine says:

    Please place these animals in a better enviroment than they have been now that there owner is dead who by the way kept them in tiny cages they deserve to spend the rest of their live in places they can flourish and be happy and loved for the rest of their lives thank you

  • Raeanna Sam says:

    Please rescue these animals and send them to reputable sanctuaries. They have suffered enough torture and neglect in their long and unfruitful lives at the hands of Sam Mazzola. They deserve to live out their lives in peace and comfort. Have a heart and rescue these animals.

  • Saija Korkalainen says:

    Please help these amazing animals to find home in reputable sanctuaries. For their dignity and ours. Thank you for your concern.

  • Margo Stout says:

    Allow these poor animals quality of life not in a small cage.

  • Judy Ewing says:

    Please take care of these poor animals and place them in good homes where they will be cared for. Thank you.

  • Anita Walsh says:

    Now these animals can have proper care and humane treatment. Please act swiftly to provide them with that relief. Sincere Thanks, Anita Walsh

  • Bojana K. Grabar says:

    time doesn’t stand still !!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • shane thompson says:

    please release these creatures to a sanctuary. it’s the right thing to do!

  • Thomas Pileggi says:

    These animals have suffered enough. Please find them sanctuary.

  • N.Zech says:

    Please help these poor creatures to get a better life! Thank you.

  • Karolina says:

    Please, put these poor animals in proper sanctuaries. There’s been enough of their suffering.

  • Alison says:

    Please put these animals in sanctuaries to live the rest of their lives out in comfort, and not in cramp cages. If this man had his federal licence revoked in 2009 for exhibiting animals….why does he still have them? Whats the point in having these laws and licences if they are not used in the proper way?!!

  • N.Zech says:

    Please help these poor creatures to get a better life! Thank you.

  • Susan Ballard says:

    Please these animals deserve to live out the rest of their lives in peace and comfort. Its appalling that this kind of abuse has been allowed as long as it has. Again Sam Mazzolas animals need to be placed in reputable sanctuaries.

  • Brittany says:

    The reason why these bears were so aggressive is because they have been raised with such disgusting and cruel keepers and such small cages. Take them to sanctuaries so that they can live the lives that bears are supposed to live.

  • sandra lenart says:

    Please let these animals go to a place that will take care of them properly and have peace for the remainder of there lives.

  • Angelene Flowers says:

    Please see that these animals are placed with reputable sanctuaries. Let them live out their lives with dignity and the measure of joy that is their right.

  • laura says:

    Please, put these wonderful creatures back into their natural habitat, or something close to it…. Keep these beautiful animas out of the cages!!!!!

  • Lauren Nedimyer says:

    Please allow these animals to live out the rest of their lives in a sanctuary were they will have plenty of space to live and be happy

  • LISA says:

    place these animals in reputable sanctuaries. And please refuse to fund deplorable roadside zoos with your entry fee.

  • Kelly Howle says:

    Please place these animals in sanctuaries where they can finally be adequately cared for. Enough is enough, and the cruelty should end with this despicable abuser’s death.

  • Trudie says:

    So sad to see these beautiful creatures crammed into tiny cages, let them free or to a safe place where they can happily live out the rest of their lives!

  • Angela Greene says:

    Please find a reputable sanctuary to place these animals. Thank you.

  • silvia says:

    please, place the animal that remain in Mazzola’s property in reputable sanctuaries. Thanks

  • cas says:

    Save the animals from a life of misery. Animals only live once like us humans we have one chance at life. Let these animals have some decent fair freedom and have a happy life. They are such beautiful animals and deserve happiness aswell. I love you animals i hope this gets sorted. To the bear wrestler who died…GOOD.

  • silvia says:

    please, place the animal that remain in Mazzola’s property in reputable sanctuaries. Thanks

  • Angela Greebe says:

    Please find a reputable sanctuary to place these animals. Thank you.

  • Jac says:

    Please find these animals a good sanctuary. They deserve this after living in these terrible conditions.

  • Nancy D. says:

    Contacted Ohio Department of Natural Resources. Fingers crossed that they will help do the right thing and let these guys live out there lives in peace and free of exploitation.

  • FAY says:

    please release those animals to a sanctuary a.s.a.p. they at this time more than ever need to be rescued, they have put up with enough already

  • Jen says:

    Please place the animals on Sam Mazolla’s property in reputable sanctuaries.

  • Emily Kil says:


  • lbelle says:

    Please put these innocent victims of human selfishness into a sanctuary where they can actually live comfortably and in an environment that is as natural as possible for them. This has gone on for too long! Is should never be allowed, never be legal!

  • Malani says:

    Please be kind and gentle with the animals; they need some serious love and care. The trauma they have been put through is heart wrenching to think of… Please place these animals in REPUTABLE SANCTUARIES, please!

  • Sue Bsryant says:

    Please,please, please place these animals in a reputable sanctuaries…Let them have the lives they deserve for THEM not for personal gain.

  • Margaret Anne says:

    Please give Peta the right to place these Animals to loving caring homes that they deserve..

  • Alison Bennett says:

    Please release these animals to a wild animal sanctuary where they can be cared for properly. It is important that animals are able to move around and live life as naturally as they would in the wild.

  • jmarr says:

    Help these poor creatures; they deserve to live meaningful lives!

  • Sunny says:

    Please do the right thing for these animals, who do hav

  • Deborah Goncalves says:

    Now that the despicable Sam Mazzola is dead,please make sure these poor animals are placed in reputable sanctuaries where they can live out their lives free of neglect and abuse. They deserve it. Thank you.

  • Suzette Spanhel says:

    The animals belong in sanctuaries. They have had enough abuse already. Roadside zoos=more animal abuse,neglect.

  • J anderson says:

    Let these animals go to a true sanctuary, they have suffered enough

  • mary aratoni says:

    please release this innocent animals to sanctuaries and never allow such an cruel practice again,.

  • Robert Lee Milgrom says:

    Please place these beautiful animals in suitable and reputable sanctuaries.

  • Geoffrey Harold says:

    Please treat these animals well!

  • martha johnson says:

    now that the evil abuser is dead, please follow thru by finding proper places for the animakls left behind. thank you.

  • Nina says:

    Please find an acceptable place for the animals!

  • Annette says:

    Please help these animals!