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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.

    Please let these animals out to enjoy the rest of there lives in freedom, dont you think they have suffered enough.

  • Kim says:

    release those poor animals!

  • Ewelina says:

    Please let every animals free!

  • Heidi Andrews says:

    Enough is enough – time to do it right!!!

  • styx says:

    Stop using animals in entertainment!

  • Petra says:

    Dont´t you think it is the right time for finding a solution for that problem?

  • Teresa Garcia says:

    Put animals in a reputable sanctuary. Please

  • Kel Hatt says:

    Place these animals in reputable sanctuaries.

  • Pete Lister says:

    PETA sucks, but they’re right about this one. Let’s make sure these animals are cared for properly.

  • margaret says:

    please allocate these defenseless caged animals to safe and reputable sanctuaries.

  • meloppy says:

    please free the animals…they don’t belong in these place they belong in the nature with their own kind… let them go please

  • Jan Bangert says:

    Please let these poor abused animals live their life out in a sanctuary where they will finally have some peace. They just don’t deserve to be treated this way. What is wrong with the government that they can’t have laws to protect these animals. Most of the people that go to these side shows and circus acts don’t realize how the animals are really treated. Education is the only way. Advertising on TV, billboards, any where people are put up the information. And schools!!! Start when they are young teaching them that these animals don’t like to dance, stand on their front legs, and prance around in infront of the public. Little kids are smart and they are the abused animals only hope for the future.

  • leanna says:

    Please stop the abuse of innocent, helpless animals. Thank you.

  • [email protected] says:

    please release these animals or send them to sanctuaries

  • Blainne Knaus says:

    These babies have been through enough they deserve a better life then this please help them and give them a better life.

  • Traceme says:

    please please dont let these animals suffer any more and place them in a reputable sanctuary to live out their lives! I and everyone i tell will note contribute to this cruelty and will not fund road side zoos. This cruelty has to stop…… makes humans look disgusting!!

  • Jacqueline says:


  • Roberta Glaser says:

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

  • Veronica says:

    Dear Jesus, Please free these beautiful animals. May they go to safe locations where thy NEVER suffer neglect, abuse, hunger, pain, thirst, loneliness, and lack of space to be free in Ever again Amen !!!

  • Kerri Johnson says:

    Please let these animals live the rest of their lives in a happy place…don’t make them spend what time they have left locked up in small cages…make your state an that you won’t punish animals just because they were owned by a jerk who I am happy is dead and can no longer hurt animals…

  • Alesia Gilliland says:

    Please help!

  • Claire Gibson says:

    These animals have suffered enough they deserve to be treated with dignity for the rest of their lives.

  • Shelley Reese says:

    Please find a good home for these animals! Thank God that person has been removed!!

  • Valerie Campeau says:

    These animals deserve to be in a proper environment for their needs and not left in cages. Come on, what are you waiting for?

  • Jill says:

    Although you may not see tears in my eyes, my heart is enveloped in sorrow,and bleeds with each beat. I will never understand why people feel the need to hurt animals.

  • Tonya Serra says:

    Please ensure these animals receive the proper care and respect they deserve after years of mistreatment and neglect. A proper sanctuary is vital for the well-being of these magnificent beings. Thank you in advance for your swift attention to their care!

  • Deirdre Herbert says:

    I believe the ODNR needs to step up and assure the resident’s of Ohio that Mr. Mazzola’s animals do not fall into the hands of other exotic animal owners who exploit these animals for money and house them inefficient living quarters that is unnatural to their normal habitat. These animals deserve a humane sanctuary to spend out the remainder of their years here on Earth in an environment that is peaceful and allows them to exercise and have medical care when needed. The ODNR has already dragged their feet in response to the Exotic animal ban in Ohio. I feel the very least the ODNR can do is oversee that Mr. Mazzola’s animals are placed appropriately in reputable sanctuaries that meet these animals needs.

  • JennaQ says:

    If human life and extra cognitive abilities have any purpose, it is to help those who cannot help themselves. Why waste all of our great capacities for emotion and empathy on making the lives of other innocent beings worse? Please help the animals who did not ask to be born into this world, nor did they ask to suffer in it.

  • Christine says:

    Please find reputable sanctuaries for these animals. Enough is enough. They deserve to live the rest of their lives in a safe & happy environment. They have suffered enough!

  • Rex's Mom says:

    May he NOT rest in peace!

  • trish says:

    Please, release the animals! Have they not suffered enough??????

  • Tamara Travis says:

    It’s despicable the way these animals have been treated and are living. I think I would go crazy and attack someone too if I was confined to one of those small cages. These animals deserve to live out their lives in a proper sanctuary. Please ensure you do the right thing for these creatures.

  • L Wendland says:

    Please help free these poor abused animals. People are so senseless and cruel!!

  • Shahaira says:

    They ned to be in the wild where they belong or at least on bigger places!

  • Barbara Lafaver says:

    Please expedite the departure of these innocent abused animals to go to sanctuaries to be cared for properly!

  • miss tracey aston says:

    Please please free these poor animals from captivity and living in a cage and give them a life they deserve. Free to roam and do what they want. They deserve a normal life like us. It makes me sick to think they are cramped in cages like this! Set them free please and give them the freedom they deserve!

  • Bev says:

    This is just wrong. Wild animals belong in the wild.

  • Cheryl H. Hardy says:

    Please let these abused animals live the rest of their days out in a sanctuary. They are innocent and deserve to be happy for once.

  • Kiirsten Schneider says:

    Please place these animals in the care of people who will respect their right to a cruelty-free life. Thanks for your compassion!

  • Jenni says:

    Free the animals. They have suffered enough!

  • missy says:

    Please release these poor caged animals!

  • Morgen says:

    Very Sad!!!!! How would people like it!!!

  • jjetsam says:

    Please remove these animals from the tortures of their cages immediately. This is the 21st century. Animals should not have to suffer in our modern age. Thank you

  • Maria Arellano says:

    Please do the right thing by these animals. They have already lived deporable lives. It’s in your hands. They have no voice.. Maria

  • adriana prado says:

    Please , help to place the poor animals in a more suitable habitat.

  • Carol Delahoyde says:

    Cannot say that I am sorry….he will face his justice where ever he is. Please place these poor animals in a safe place.

  • Louise Broesky says:

    I strongly urge you to find proper facilities that are prepared to take in all the abused animals that came from Sam Mazzola’s farm.

  • Silvia Zuliani says:

    Please leave these animals free!!!!

  • Kim Smith says:

    These animals should have rights just like human rights! They should have the right to a good home, meals and the ability to live a free as possible. They dont have these right at the moment because of the government.

  • Fld says:

    Please set these animals free no animal should be caged for any reason !!!! To see that breaks my heart….