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Camel kills two men on Tennessee farm, attacks cop car

camel (Ltshears/WikiCommons)

A rampaging camel on the loose in Tennessee killed two men and then attacked a police car, according to authorities.

Deputies responded last Thursday to the Shirley Farms in Obion, where they found Bobby Matheny, 42, and Tommy Gunn, 67 — unconscious on the ground, according to the Obion County Sheriff’s Office. Police said the men had just been attacked by the animal, which was running free on the property when they arrived.

The Lake County Sheriff’s Office, Ridgely Police Department, Tennessee Highway Patrol, and the Lake County Rescue Squad also responded to the scene to provide aid and safely relocate the men.

As deputies were attempting to load one of the victims into a waiting ambulance, the camel emerged and again started to attack. This time it targeted a Sheriff’s Office vehicle.

“It was at this time officers had to put the camel down for the safety of everyone on scene,” Obion County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release.

Matheny and Gunn succumbed to their injuries and died at the scene, officials said.

It’s not clear how the camel initially got loose, but Shirley Farms is also home to Pumpkin Barn LLC, a playground and a popular petting zoo, according its Facebook page.

The incident remains under investigation.

While camels rarely attack people, Debbie Metzler, the Associate Director for Captive Animal Law Enforcement for PETA, said animals will act beyond the norm when they are kept in captivity.

“When animals are exploited for entertainment, this is not surprising,” she told WBBJ. “It’s tragic, but not surprising, and both animals and humans are at risk in situations like this.”


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