A Florida wildlife sanctuary owner has been hospitalized after being attacked by two cheetahs, CNN.com reported. Before the attack occurred, the country heard reports about a young boy who was attacked and killed by a tiger in California.
The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office said Judy Berens, the victim, had about 40 puncture wounds to her extremities and back. Berens was airlifted to Delray Medical Center, but her injuries were not life-threatening.
Berens owns and operates Panther Ridge Conservation Center, which provides homes for exotic cats. She was conducting an exhibition with two caged male cheetahs when one became distracted by a ball being bounced outside.
The cheetah moved toward the ball quickly and knocked her to the ground, authorities said. The cheetah pounced and then began biting and clawing her. At some point, the other cheetah attacked.
Several people entered the enclosure and rescued her. Wildlife officers are investigating the attack, but so far it appears there are no violations or broken laws.
Let’s not lose sight of the facts. These animals were taken from their natural habitats, caged and taunted. When the opportunity presented itself, they responded in a way that was natural to them.
When are people ever going to realize that lions, tigers, bears and cheetahs belong in the wild? At the end of the day, the cheetahs were simply exhibiting a natural instinct and people can only blame themselves for these attacks.
Priscilla Blow for the Editorial Board.