The owner of an exotic wildlife company has been charged in the mauling of a 4-year-old girl by a cougar at a birthday party. Corinne Oltz, who operates Wild Animal World, was charged with first-degree misdemeanor culpable negligence and second-degree misdemeanor charge of keeping wildlife in unsafe conditions, according to court documents dated Wednesday.
The girl, now 5, was attacked Nov. 18 at the home of Goya Foods president Francisco Unanue during a party for his 7-year-old child. She suffered severe cuts to her eyelid, cheek and ear, authorities said. Doctors sewed back part of her severed ear. Police said Oltz, 38, removed the leashed cougar from its cage to show it to the children, but the girl sneaked behind Oltz and startled the animal. The declawed cat took the child's head with her teeth.
State wildlife officials said Oltz failed to use a barrier to protect the children, as a judge had ordered her to do after a previous attack. The 62-pound cougar was destroyed shortly after the attack so it could be tested for rabies; it did not have the disease.
Look, I love big cats at least as much as the next Boulder hippy, but people... when are you going to learn that WILD ANIMALS ARE NOT PETS? Wild animals EAT THINGS BIGGER AND MEANER THAN YOUR 7 YEAR OLD FOR BREAKFAST - EVERY DAY! Mountain lions, in particular, have been known to attack fully grown men and once in a great while even kill and eat them. How ragingly stupid would you have to be decide it was a good idea to get a bunch of 5 year olds together and then put a mountain lion in their midst?
I look forward to the day when I read a news story that says: "The complete moron parents who thought it would be a good idea to pay someone to bring a wild carnivore to their kid's birthday party were sterilized shortly after their IQ tests. Which, predictably, came back with scores in the single digits."