Less than a month after Tilly, an orca at SeaWorld in Orlando, attacked and killed his trainer, yet another story has emerged about captive animals who lash out against their imprisonment. In an upcoming episode of Fatal Attractions, a new Animal Planet miniseries about fatal attacks by exotic “pets,” a woman named Julie Burros talks about how the black leopard she bought for $1,800 through a classified ad in a magazine nearly ripped her scalp off. While Burros escaped with her life, the leopard wasn’t so lucky—he was shot and killed by police officers. Perhaps most shocking of all is that Burros says that she would “love to do it again” (by which we assume she means buying another leopard as opposed to nearly being decapitated).
Couple this with the story of the zoo patron who lost two fingers to a black bear, and this apparently needs to be repeated: There’s a reason why they call wild animals “wild.” That’s where they belong, not locked up in a cage in a zoo, in a concrete swimming pool in a theme park, or in someone’s backyard.
Written by Alisa Mullins