Woman Says Her Boss's Bearcat Mauled Her
By CAMERON LANGFORD
HOUSTON (CN) - The owner of an exotic animal farm let an untrained employee weigh bearcats, and one of the animals viciously attacked her, the woman claims in court.
Brittany Wilmer says Troy Scott keeps a tiger, two hyenas and binturongs aka bearcats on a 10-acre farm called TGR Exotics in the Houston suburb Spring.
The farm also has an aardvark, camels, kangaroos, porcupines, a llama, lemurs, a sloth and several other exotic species, according to its website.
Wilmer says she had only been working at the farm for four months when Scott asked to weigh the bearcats on April 17.
"Even though she had been trained to weigh binturongs, had never weighed binturongs, and had never seen them weighed, she was instructed to weigh binturongs by crating them and putting them on a scale," according to the complaint. "She did as instructed and was attacked resulting in serious bodily injury."
Scott should not have authorized a worker to weigh the bearcats without proper training, Wilmer says.
TGR Exotics confirmed the attack in a prepared statement, according to Fox News' Houston affiliate Fox 26.
Wilmer's attorney David Kallus told Fox 26 the bearcat escaped from its crate and jumped on her while she was weighing it.
"This animal was just basically latched on to her body," Kallus told Fox 26. "It has long claws that are not retractable and was moving actually in the direction of her neck and her head."
Scott and his wife, who co-owns the farm, reportedly refused to pay Wilmer's medical bills, saying they did not have insurance and are not required to pay for her care. They also said Wilmer was an intern not an employee, according to Fox 26.
Animals at TGR Exotics, owned by Troy Scott, have attacked before.
In January 2010, a man applying for an assistant zookeeper job sued TGR Exotics, Scott and his wife, Gwendolyn, after a hyena he tried to pet at the farm mauled him.
Bearcats are natives to Southeast Asia and have no relation to bears. They are nocturnal, tree-going animals comparable in size to a large domestic cat. They mainly eat fruit, though they are known to eat small animals and can be dangerous when cornered.
Fox 26 reported that two bearcats, including the one that attacked Wilmer, escaped from the park in March. A woman who lives across the street from the farm found one of the bearcats in her woodpile, according to Fox 26.
Wilmer seeks exemplary damages for negligence.