Ross Township, PA authorities say Watz, who also had permits to own a Bengal tiger and an African lion, had entered the bear’s enclosure to clean the cage as well as feed the 350-lb bear. Walz had thrown some food to one side of the enclosure to distract the bear while she cleaned the other side, officials said. At some point, the bear turned an attacked her.
Initial reports indicate a neighbor shot and killed the bear during its attack on Walz. Ross Township, PA is about 20 miles northeast of Allentown.
Tim Conway, the game commission’s information educational supervisor for the northeast region said the bear had been kept as a pet since 2000 when the owners applied for a license for it. He stressed that no other Ross Township, PA residents were at risk during the attack. The bear did not escape and neither it nor any other animals were free-roaming.
Earlier this year, Travis the chimpanzee, who had been used in commercials and appeared on TV, attacked without warning Charla Nash, 55, of Stamford, CT, a friend, of his owner, Sandra Herold, 70. Police were forced to shoot the chimp when after the owner, unable to stop the attack, dialed 911. Travis the chimpanzee eventually died of his wounds.