9-1-1 Call Released in Cheetah Attack - @ JEMS.com


9-1-1 Call Released in Cheetah Attack

Volunteers came to aid of victim


 
 

Chrystian Tejedor | | Tuesday, April 1, 2008


WELLINGTON, Fla. -- When two cheetahs attacked the owner of Wellington's Panther Ridge Conservation Center, someone outside the animals' cage frantically called 911.

"The woman who owns it went into the cage with the jaguar and they're attacking her," the unidentified female caller told Sheriff's Office dispatchers. "There's no one here to get them out. Please hurry."

The recording, released on Tuesday along with a preliminary report from Florida's Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, describe the efforts of Panther Ridge volunteers who tried to free Judy Berens during Saturday's attack.

The animals were later identified as cheetahs, named Matt and Charlie. Berens, 58, brought them from a private facility in South Africa where they were born and raised around people.

Although investigators continue to look at the attack, according to a Fish and Wildlife spokeswoman, the report shows that Berens had installed a proper barrier and that the cheetahs' enclosure was properly locked so that the animals did not endanger the guests.

Fish and Wildlife officers did not plan to take action against Berens. They noted in the report that she has 15 years of experience in dealing with large cats but should rethink going into the animal cages alone.

On Saturday, Berens walked into the cage with two male cheetahs for a refuge fundraiser when one of the animals likely was distracted by a child bouncing a ball outside the cage, according to the Fish and Wildlife, which is investigating the attack.

One big cat moved toward the ball and knocked Berens to the ground. Both cats then bit and clawed her.

According to the Fish and Wildlife report, a Panther Ridge volunteer grabbed a water hose and entered the enclosure where Berens was being attacked. One cheetah backed off but the other held a firm bite on her leg until the volunteer sprayed water in its face and tried to pry its jaws apart.

Eventually, the animal released Berens and the volunteer walked her outside.

By that time, the 911 caller was still giving authorities directions to Panther Ridge, which is nestled among mostly equestrian estates in an area of Wellington south and west of Lake Worth Road and Southshore Boulevard.

"She's out of the cage, but we need the ambulance," the caller told dispatchers and later, added in a calmer voice: "They got her out of the cage but she is quite bloody. She is in the house. She's walking."

Berens, who could not be reached for comment on Tuesday despite attempts by phone, said earlier that reports of the attack were exaggerated.

"I got bit a couple of times. It's just not a big deal. It's something you can expect if you're going to be dealing with these animals," Berens said from her hospital room on Sunday. "It's been blown way out of proportion."

The Fish and Wildlife report shows that Berens was bitten on her extremities, back and neck.

Staff Writer Stephanie Horvath contributed to this report.

Chrystian Tejedor can be reached at ctejedor@sun-sentinel.com or 561-243-6631.

Staff Writer Staff Writer Stephanie Horvath contributed to this report.




Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: Communications and Dispatch

What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Buyer's Guide Featured Companies

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS

Get JEMS in Your Inbox

 

Fire EMS Blogs


Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

 

EMS Airway Clinic

Innovation & Advancement

This is the seventh year of the EMS 10 Innovators in EMS program, jointly sponsored by Physio-Control and JEMS.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

Wesleyan Students Hospitalized for Overdose

11 students transported to local hospitals.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Denver Medic's Family Says Job Stress Contributed to Suicide

Veteran of over 25 years took her own life after a call.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Denver First Responders Join to Remember Paramedic

Veteran medic took her own life after fatal accident.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Rigs Going in Service from EMS Today 2015

Snap shots of some of the vehicles at EMS Today that will be on the streets soon
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Florida Hospital Fire

Fire halts construction project at Tampa cancer center.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Field Bridge Xpress ePCR on iPad, Android, Kindle Fire

Sneak peek of customizable run forms & more.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

VividTrac offered by Vivid Medical - EMS Today 2013

VividTrac, affordable high performance video intubation device.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

The AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher Conversion Kit - EMS Today 2013

AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher all-hazards preparedness & response tool
Watch It >


More Product Videos >