Lunenburg, MA - 4 February 2006: Bull Mastiff Attacks, Kills 7-year-old

The Boston Globe, among other papers, reports that young Connor Lourens, a first-grade pupil, was mauled to death while playing at his neighbor's house by their Bull Mastiff. Male of this breed normally weigh 120 pounds or more. From the Bulldogbreeds.com
Web site:
Loving, courageous, loyal; Tolerates children; Should be socialized with other animals at an early age.

Virginia, IL - 17 January 2006: Bobcat Suspected in Attack as Woman Walks Dog

Karen Ackerman, 40, was walking her mother's miniature dachshund, when, she said, "it actually growled, and I knew something was coming at me. I turned around to get into the house, and I wasn't quick enough. All of a sudden, I felt this big pressure on me, and it knocked me down into the bushes." Illinois conservation officials suspect the attacking animal may have been a bobcat. Bobcats are increasingly common in the southern part of the state.

The Web site of The State Journal-Register has the report.

Seattle - 27 December 2005: Video Captures Octopus Attack On Shark

Thanks to AAF correspondent JGwyer, who sends along this fascinating link to a video on Google's video service. Shown is an octopus as it attacks a shark at the Seattle Aquarium. The 2 1/2 minute video is attributed to Stevan Hogg.

Mumbai, India - 23 December 2005: Indian Expert Fears Leopard Attacks Cannot Be Stopped

Leopard attacks in the large Sanjay Gandhi National Park near Mumbai (formerly Bombay) are very likely to continue, the park's deputy conservator of forests has told Indian news service IANS. NewKerala.com has the story here.

In the wake of two recent attacks — Puja Pawar, a four-year-old girl, was dragged from outside her hut Dec 17 and killed by a leopard in the Manpada area of Thane district, and 50-year-old Laxman Choudhary was mauled on Dec 20 — P.N. Munde warned that man-animal conflict is only going to increase. Mumbai's population will likely grow to around 28.5 million by 2020 from the current 18.1 million, according to Washington, D.C.'s Population Institute.

"The leopard is a territorial animal and we cannot expect it to stay in one area. It has to move around," Munde said.

The park — located about 25 miles from Mumbai — saw 18 fatal and 12 non-fatal leopard attacks in 2004. Although a wall is presently under construction, there is no buffer area between the park and the city's shantytown suburbs.

Spotsylvania, VA - 22 December 2005: Owner Guilty In Pit Bull Manslaughter Trial

Deanna Large, 37, was found guilty in the death of Dorothy Sullivan (shown here with her pet shih tzu), who was attacked March 8 by three pit bulls while she walked her dog. Jurors saw autopsy photos showing pieces of Sullivan's scalp torn away and chunks torn from her arm and thigh.

Pit bull owner Large was also found guilty of two misdemeanor charges of allowing her dogs — detectives said at the trial that she kept as many as 13 of them in her double-wide trailer — to run loose.

Fox News covers the story here.

Maui, Hawaii - 22 December 2005: Shark Attacks Man Off Maui

Jonathan Genant (of San Diego) was alone when a shark attacked Wednesday hundreds of yards off Keawakapu Beach on 22 December. "His jaws were just humongous," he told CBS correspondent Keahi Tucker from his hospital bed on Maui. "I heard the bones snap. From that point, I just — I knew I was in trouble."

Genant lost part of his pinky but is expected to recover. The CBS News story is here. The San Francisco Chronicle story is here, and the Sacramento Bee covers it here.

Seaside, OR - 19 December 2005: Great White Shark Attacks Surfer

Thirty-six year old Brian Anderson was surfing near Tillamook Head, south of Seaside, when he felt something grab his leg. "As a surfer, it's your worst nightmare to get attacked by one of those things," he said. He punched the ten-foot shark near the eye — a tactic he says he learned by watching Shark Week on the Discovery Channel — and it released him. He suffered relatively minor injuries to his ankle.

The Washington Post has the AP story.

Bloemfontein, South Africa - 18 December 2005: Robber's Fatal Mistake; Flees Into Zoo Tiger Enclosure

Visitors to the Bloemfontein Zoo on Sunday (18 December) saw more than they had bargained for. A man was found dead in the tiger's enclosure, with bite marks at the back of his neck and all his clothes torn off. Although they had recently been fed and did not devour the victim, the tigers had mauled the man and dragged him through the water.

Police believe "the man was involved in a robbery and was chased by security guards. He had nowhere to go so he jumped over the zoo fence," according to Elsa Gerber, a police spokesperson. The story is covered by SABCNews.com here and here, and also here, and by the Associated Press (via the San Francisco Chronicle) here.

Cary, IL - 5 November 2005: Pit Bull Pack Mauls 6 in Extended Attack

Three pit bulls rampaged and injured 6 people in this Chicago suburb on Saturday, 5 November. The attack was apparently triggered when children going door-to-door for a fundraiser arrived at the home of Scott Sword, 41, who owned the dogs. One child is in critical condition after the attack, which continued for fifteen minutes.

"They just coming in biting and just biting hard, shaking their heads," said Jim Malone, a witness.

Stories from the San Francisco Chronicle and ABC7Chicago.com.

Calgary, AB (Canada) - 3 November 2005: Brad Pitt Claims Bear Attacked Him

We report, you decide. While this story seems to be an attempt to generate publicity for Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie — there are apparently no witnesses — it may be true. Pitt claims he returned to his Canadian vacation home to find two grizzlies rummaging through his kitchen, and called the local authorities. Story (from the UK's Life Style Extra) here.

Half Moon Bay, CA - 3 November 2005: Shark Attack Leaves Surfer OK, Tooth in Surfboard

A 25-year-old man survived a close call with a shark Wednesday evening (2 November.) Tim West said he was surfing Mavericks, the world-famous surf break off this city about 30 miles south of San Francisco, when the shark came up directly beneath him and knocked him about 2 feet into the air. He was unharmed but the attack left a tooth in his board.

"It makes you think twice, but it's going to happen — it's shark season," said another local surfer, Libby Grestin.

Indeed. Experts are surprised there have not been more recent shark attacks in the area because great whites are usually close to shore this time of year searching for food. Read stories from Global Surf News, KRON-4, KSBWChannel.com, and NBC17.com.

3 November 2005: Pit Bull Update

DENVER: Gregg Jones, 10, was in his back yard on 2 November when three pit bulls - his family pets - attacked and mauled him. Denver has enacted a controversial breed ban, as has Aurora, a suburb - but Aurora's ban will not become effective until Jan 1, 2006. The Rocky Mountain News and WRAL of Raleigh, NC cover the story. D Mahoney and Wayne F tipped us off.

WASHINGTON DC: According to NBC4.com, a girl apparently became enraged and unleashed her dog 3 November after a restaurant sold a burrito she had already purchased to another man. The dog was eventually taken away.

UKIAH, CA: Two pit bulls apparently invaded a fenced area Sat., 29 Oct. and killed a small pet. This story is from the Ukiah Daily.

MONMOUTH, IL: Reviewatlas.com reports that two pit bulls attacked and injured a man and later badly mauled a miniature horse in this town about thirty miles south of the Quad Cities.

Maranhão, Brazil - 3 November 2005: Rabid Vampire Bats Kill 23

Residents of marshy areas in the rain forest have suffered a spate of attacks by blood-sucking vampire bats. From the story on almendhar.com:

Mass attacks on humans have occurred in other cattle regions in Latin America when the cattle are suddenly removed, denying the bats their normal food.

The bats typically feed on mammalian blood.

Stories in Times (UK), the New Scientist, and the BBC. AAF thanks correspondent D Mahoney for this tip.

California - 1 November 2005: Deer Attacks Puzzle Wildlife Officials

Two recent deer attacks against people and three against neighborhood pets have prompted California wildlife officials to warn people to keep their distance from the wild animals.

In one of these attacks, a male deer attacked Ron Dudek, 73, in Rancho Santa Fe in Southern California as he was picking tomatoes in his garden on Sept. 25. The 6-foot-tall buck charged out of a patch of shrubbery and gored Dudek in the face before running off. Dudek was rushed to the hospital. He received 220 stitches for the wounds, but died from a pulmonary blood clot resulting from the encounter in mid-October. (See this San Francisco Chronicle story or this story in the Lake County, CA Record-Bee for more information.)

The Animal Attack Files commends ABCNEWS.COM reporter Amanda Onion for this special report.

(The photo, of an attack in Orinda, CA, is credited to Louis Pimentel.)

Junagadh, India - October 31 2005: Leopard Attacks Family In Home

“I was having breakfast with my family when a leopard suddenly rushed into our house and before we could do anything attacked us,

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