Fire at Ex Playboy Model’s Miami Cougar Den
Lemurs, snakes dead at exotic wildlife company
By HANK TESTER and BRIAN HAMACHER
Updated 7:27 AM EST, Thu, Dec 3, 2009
Several animals are dead after a fire ripped through a controversial Southwest Miami-Dade exotic wildlife company this morning.
No humans appear to have been hurt but at least two lemurs and several snakes and parrots perished after the fire tore through Wild Animal World at 10495 SW 60 St. in Kendall.
There was no word on what caused the fire, which was quickly put out by Miami-Dade firefighters, though there had been reports of an explosion on the property.
Wild Animal World is owned by Corinne Oltz, a former Hooters girl and Playboy model who’s seen her share of controversy since taking over the business over a decade ago.
Oltz, 40, exhibits her exotic animals — which also include cougars, leopards and other large cats — at schools, parties and other gatherings, and has been criticized for her brazen use of the animals.
In 1999, Oltz was convicted of not properly caging a cat after one of the beasts escaped from her Miami house and scared the bejesus out of her neighbors. A year earlier, one of her cougars attacked a 5-year-old girl at a birthday party in Coral Gables.
In 2001, one of her leopards attacked and nearly killed a 7-year-old boy at a company picnic, and Oltz was banned from showing leopards.
Perhaps the worst attack came in 2006, when a 4-year-old girl was mauled by a cougar at a birthday party. Oltz was charged with culpable negligence and keeping wildlife in unsafe conditions after the 62-pound cougar put the kid’s face in her mouth and nearly ripped her ear off.
First Published: Dec 2, 2009 1:47 PM EST
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