Friday, February 27, 2009

Lion mauls man at Jeffrey Harsh's KS menagerie

OAKLEY, Kan. (AP) -- Authorities are investigating a weekend incident
in which a man was mauled by a lion at an animal refuge in western
Kansas, but no charges are expected to be filed.

The lion's owner, Jeffrey Harsh, told authorities that man staying at
the Free Breakfast Inn motel next to the refuge near Oakley apparently
made his way Saturday into an outer perimeter lion cage.

When Harsh showed up to feed the animals that evening, he found the
man with his arm over the top of a gate on the inner cage. A Barbary
lion had grabbed the man's right arm, said Thomas County Sheriff Rod
Taylor.

Harsh reportedly beat the lion with a steel pipe so it would release
the man. He then drove him to a Colby hospital. The victim, Bradley
Buchanan, has since been transferred to a Denver hospital for more
surgery. Buchanan, of Oakley, is expected to recover.

Taylor said photos of Buchanan's deep wounds appear to show that the
lion reached the bone.

Harsh previously has faced legal problems for his ownership of exotic
animals.

On Tuesday, the Thomas County prosecutor agreed to dismiss a
misdemeanor case against Harsh, provided he transfers three Barbary
lions to the Detroit Zoo.

Zoo officials were expected to travel to Oakley within three months to
examine the lions for any diseases. If the tests are negative, the
lions would then be taken to Detroit.

Taylor said no charges are expected to be filed in Saturday's
incident, providing Harsh follows through on his promise to move the
lions.

But Harsh still has two tigers at the facility.

"I hope we find a home for the other two," Taylor said.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29397583/

Lion Mauls Man in Western Kansas


Last Update: 2/25 10:02 pm

You wouldn't know it driving down I-70, but outside of Oakley you'll find cats you don't normally see in Kansas.

For almost 20 years Jeffrey Harsh has managed the Prairie Cat Animal Refuge. The refuge sits between a motel and farm field. From the outside, you see abandoned vehicles, construction debris and fencing. "No they don't have Disney land facilities, but are they fed well and are they happy," said Harsh.

Besides taking care of three lions and two tigers, Harsh also hires people to work at the Free Breakfast motel. Saturday night one of the workers came to see the animals. "He loved them and was good with them when he was sober."

But Harsh and the sheriff say the man was drunk and tried to pet the lion. "When you're drinking or under medication it tells them you're part of the food chain," said Harsh.

When he came over to feed the animals Saturday night, Harsh noticed the perimeter fence was open and he heard screaming. "It had him by the arm. I broke him lose from the animal by whacking her over the head. There was a major tear in his arm," Harsh said.

Harsh took the man to the hospital in Colby. He was then air lifted to a Denver hospital. Harsh says they stitched him up and he's been released.

Thomas County Sheriff Rod Taylor says long before this attack the county has tried to shut the refuge down. The lions have bitten two other people. "Get those animals out of there. They cause more trouble and we've almost got it accomplished," said the sheriff.

Due to Saturday's attack, Harsh agreed to give up the cats to avoid exotic animal charges. He says it's probably a good time to do it because it's getting too expensive to feed them.

Harsh and the county worked to find new owners for the animals. If the Kansas Health Department allows, the Detroit Zoo will take the three lions. The Detroit Zoo tells Eyewitness News after the lions are checked for rabies and approved by the health department they'll pick them up. A zoo employee says that could take several weeks or several months.

The zoo doesn't have room for the tigers, so Harsh is still looking for place to move them.

http://www.woai.com/mostpopular/story/Lion-Mauls-Man-in-Western-Kansas/snbsG-uIxkeo1J6EgTVaLQ.cspx

Lion Mauls Hotel Worker In Western Kansas


Last Update: 2/24 10:12 pm

A lion mauled a hotel worker near the town of Oakley in Western Kansas over the weekend.

The Thomas County Sheriff tells Eyewitness News, a worker stuck his hands into the lion's cage at the Free Breakfast Inn.  The owner of the motel keeps three lions and two tigers there.

The motel owner, Jeff Harsh, drove the victim to a Colby hospital.  Emergency crews then flew the victim to a hospital in Denver.  The sheriff says he's expected to recover.

The sheriff says the Detroit Zoo has agreed to take three of the big cats but zoo officials have to assess them first.

http://www.woai.com/mostpopular/story/Lion-Mauls-Hotel-Worker-In-Western-Kansas/QysxW1MzbUCvwWZ36w12XA.cspx


THOMAS COUNTY, Kansas – Authorities in Thomas County are investigating an apparent lion attack.

An Oakley man, identified as Bradley Buchanan, was staying at a motel off Interstate 70 in Thomas County when he allegedly approached a lion cage outside the property and had his arm bitten by the animal.

He's now being treated at a Denver hospital.

The county has long been fighting the lion's owner for having exotic pets and continues to investigate the attack.

http://www.ksn.com/news/kansasnews/40299337.html

Lion mauls man at western Kansas animal refuge

OAKLEY, Kan. (AP) — Authorities are investigating the mauling of a man by a lion at an animal refuge in western Kansas, but no charges are expected to be filed.

The lion's owner, Jeffrey Harsh, told authorities that the man was staying at a motel next to his refuge near Oakley and apparently made his way into an outer perimeter lion cage on Saturday.

When Harsh showed up to feed the animals that evening, he found the man with his arm over the top of a gate on the inner cage. Thomas County Sheriff Rod Taylor said a Barbary lion had grabbed the man's right arm.

Harsh reportedly beat the lion with a steel pipe so it would release the man, then drove the man to a hospital. The victim, Bradley Buchanan of Oakley, has since been transferred to a Denver hospital for more surgery and is expected to recover.

Taylor said photos of Buchanan's deep wounds appear to show that the lion reached the bone.

Harsh previously has faced legal problems for his ownership of exotic animals.

On Tuesday, the Thomas County prosecutor agreed to dismiss a misdemeanor case against Harsh, provided that he transfers three Barbary lions to the Detroit Zoo.

Zoo officials were expected to travel to Oakley within three months to make sure the animals are healthy before agreeing to take them.

Taylor said no charges are expected to be filed in Saturday's mauling, providing Harsh follows through on his promise to move the lions.

But Harsh still has two tigers at the facility.

"I hope we find a home for the other two," Taylor said.

Information from: The Hays Daily News, http://www.hdnews.net


--
For the cats,

Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue
an Educational Sanctuary home
to more than 100 big cats
12802 Easy Street Tampa, FL  33625
813.493.4564 fax 885.4457

http://www.BigCatRescue.org
SaveTheBigCats@gmail.com

Sign our petition to protect tigers from being farmed here:

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