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Tennessee petting zoo camel kills two men Bobby Matheny, Tommy Gunn after escape

According to local officials, two men were killed by a wild camel that escaped from a Tennessee petting zoo.

Bobby Matheny, 42, and Tommy Gunn, 67, both of The Volunteer State, died after being cornered and attacked by the wild camel in Obion, about 100 miles northeast of Memphis, on Thursday.

The hunchbacked animal was killed by intervening police officers.

The Obion County Sheriff’s Office received a call around 4:45 p.m. about a free-roaming camel attacking people near the Shirley Farms petting zoo said in a statement.

When deputies arrived, they found the two unconscious victims and the deranged creature walking loose. Several authorities were on site to provide assistance and bring the victims to safety.

As deputies were taking one of the victims to an ambulance, the camel reappeared and attacked a sheriff’s office vehicle. Officers were forced to “drop the camel down at the scene for everyone’s safety,” the statement said.

Bobby Matheny, 42, poses with a child at a baseball field
Bobby Matheny, 42, was one of the two men cornered by the animal.
Bobby Matheny/Facebook

Matheny and Gunn succumbed to their injuries and were pronounced dead at the scene.

It is not clear how the camel got away.

A family member of one of the victims said WTVF that the two men had been to the farm to try to capture the camel. The animal cornered them and charged, kicking the men to death, the relative said.

A camel expert told the outlet that when fully grown, the animals “have enough strength to crush your arms and legs along with your neck while kicking back and forth.”

“Most animals can only step backwards. Camels will do a combination of all of these things while kneeling forward to crush you,” the expert said.

A camel at The Pumpkin Barn where two men were killed by an angry camel
Law enforcement officials later killed the camel “for the safety of everyone [the] Scene.”
The Pumpkin Barn, LLC/Facebook

Shirley Farms said CBS News that they are upset and mourned by the attack but have not given further details.

Matheny had worked as a janitor at Lake County High School, according to an online obituary. A funeral service is scheduled for Sunday at 3 p.m. in the school gymnasium.

Autumn Staggs, who worked alongside Matheny as a janitor for five years, said in a heartfelt Facebook postwith an attached video of Matheny joking around while cleaning a school floor.

“We laughed a lot up there and had a lot of hard days at work until I decided to leave for another job. He was always my go-to when I needed to vent and vice versa. Bob was one of a kind and I can’t believe I’m saying this but calm down big guy,” she wrote.

“Five years of knowing you, five years of always counting on you, five years of always being a good colleague and friend, but it hurts man. hurts bad You were my friend, my mate up there and I will never forget you.”

https://nypost.com/2022/03/12/tennessee-petting-zoo-camel-kills-two-men-bobby-matheny-tommy-gunn-after-escape/ Tennessee petting zoo camel kills two men Bobby Matheny, Tommy Gunn after escape

JACLYN DIAZ

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