A woman bit a camel in defense after she reportedly went into its truck stop zoo enclosure to get her dog.
The Advocate reported Iberville Parish Sheriff's Office officials said the woman's husband threw dog treats under Caspar the camel's fence Wednesday night at a Tiger Truck Stop in Grosse Tete, Louisiana. The dog went under the fence to get the treats inside Caspar's enclosure, where he is kept as an attraction, The Associated Press reported.
According to police documents obtained by The Advocate, Gloria Lancaster, 68, and Edmond Lancaster, 73, from Milton, Florida, let their unleashed dog into the camel enclosure.
Gloria Lancaster went into the enclosure to get her dog, the publication reported. The couple claimed the camel attacked their dog for no reason, but police said the couple invaded Caspar's space.
Pamela Bossier, manager of the Tiger Truck Stop, watched the incident on security camera footage, The Washington Post reported.
"You can see they were pushing and pushing on the camel, swatting him with the hat and stuff like that," Bossier told WBRZ.
Gloria Lancaster told police camel began to sit on her, so she bit the animal to escape.
"After the camel stood up his wife was able to get free, grab their small dog and get back outside of the fenced in barbed wire fence," the document said.
Bossier said the couple should have gotten help from the staff instead of crawling into the enclosure to get the dog.
"The camel was not attacking the dog. I watched it," she told the Post. "Instead of them running to get help at the restaurant, which is 60 feet away, where we have people who are trained to tend to the camel, they decide to crawl under the barbed-wire fence. At that point, you've invaded his space --which is private property. ... I guess he felt threatened."
Iberville Parish Deputy Louis Hamilton Jr. said an investigation found the couple provoked the camel.
"The camel did nothing wrong," Hamilton told The Advocate. "They (the couple) were aggressive. The camel was just doing its normal routine."
There are signs on the camel's enclosure warning people to stay out.
“The camel has never been aggressive, the camel has never gotten out, never caused any issues -- in fact, the husband and wife stated before that we’ve been here before, and we’ve never had any problems,” Hamilton said.
The Associated Press reported that Hamilton said the couple was cited them for a leash law violation and criminal trespassing. It's against the law in Louisiana to let dogs run off leash on private property, enclosed and unenclosed, The Advocate reported.
"My only question to her husband was, 'Why did you throw the doggy treat under the fence?’ Hamilton explained. "And he just said, 'I wasn’t thinking.'"
Bossier told The Advocate Caspar was given antibiotics prescribed by a veterinarian as a precaution.
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