6 Animal Obsessions That Ended Disastrously

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Trivial Diversions

6 Animal Obsessions That Ended Disastrously

6 Animal Obsessions That Ended Disastrously

Being surrounded by concrete, wires, waves and plastic, we have started to forget that nature is indeed a force to be reckoned with. If you have frequented the internet for any discernible amount of time, then you are familiar with the following:

damn nature


Allen Campbell (1953-1994)

In Jacksonville, Florida, Allen Campbell worked as a zookeeper/elephant trainer for a variety of carnivals and circuses. Campbell had been in trouble for cruelty to animals before and often jumped from job to job. In 1994, after a particularly rough beating, an elephant named Tyke decided he was done and rushed Campbell. Tyke crushed Campbell to death (mainly his skull). It was later revealed that Campbell had cocaine and alcohol in his system at the time.


Timothy Treadwell (1957-2003)

In 2005, director Werner Herzog released his feature film Grizzly Man. It was the story of Timothy Treadwell and his journey to live with wild grizzly bears. Treadwell spent 13 summers in the Katmai National Park in Alaska living among the bears and studying their behaviors. He first gained an interest in bears after his struggle with drugs and alcohol. He credited the bears for helping him realize his real purpose in life; he often stated how much he hated humans and wished to live with the bears forever. In the 13th summer, he and his girlfriend, Amie Huguenard, were filming their studies of the bears. Treadwell decided to stay a  week later than normal, which was dangerous because it was the end of salmon season and the bears were becoming more aggressive.

The night before they were to be picked up, both Treadwell and Huguenard were attacked and eaten by a 28-year-old brown bear. Human remains were found inside of the bear, along with Treadwell’s head and arm in a nearby bush. Later a camera was found in the tent that had recorded the audio from the attack.


Jamie Coots (1971-2014)

As a 3rd-generation snake handler, Pastor Jamie Coots was skilled in handling many varieties of poisonous snakes. He and his family ran the Full Gospel Tabernacle in Jesus Name church and were no strangers to snake bites. Coots was bitten 8 times before 2014; he almost died from one of them. During a service in 2014, Coots was holding several snakes when one of them lashed out at him. Dropping the snakes, Coots quickly gathered himself and the snakes and continued on with the service. He died later that day after refusing medical treatment because of his religious beliefs.


Bill Pickett (1870-1932)

This well-known rodeo bandit is famous for inventing the bulldogging technique in which the rider wrestles cattle to the ground by leaping from their horse and grabbing onto the horns. Bill Pickett became well-known for both his appearance (his family was of African-American and Cherokee descent) and his rodeo skills.

Pickett joined the 101 Ranch Wild West Show, where he worked with other famous rodeo entertainers like Buffalo Bill. It wasn’t until after retirement that Pickett met his end after a bronco kicked him in the head at the age of 61.


Karl Patterson Schmidt (1890-1957)

Schmidt, though not well-known in the mainstream, was one of the most important herpetologists of the 20th century. His study of reptiles led to naming over 200 new species and his being considered the expert in Coral snakes. Schmidt was sent a snake to be ID’d by a colleague and soon discovered it was a Boomslang snake. The snake lashed out and bit him, but Schmidt thought the snake was too young to produce enough venom to be lethal. Evidently, he was wrong and died 24 hours after the bite occurred.


Steve Irwin (1962-2006)

Steve “The Crocodile Hunter” Irwin is probably the most well-known individual on this list. He was an avid animal lover – in particular, dangerous reptiles. While filming some footage for his daughter’s show, Irwin was attempting to film a stingray swimming away. Unfortunately, the stingray became nervous about being boxed in and lashed out with its stinger. It penetrated Irwin directly in the heart. At first he thought his lung just collapsed, but the injury proved lethal. He bled to death.

Steve Irwin

Related topics Animals, death
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