OSHA won’t cite the owner of a bear that killed another man at his wild animal compound last year.
Reason: Investigators weren’t able to determine if the man who was killed was an employee of the bear’s owner.
On Aug. 19, 2010, Brent Kandra was feeding Iroquois, a 400 lb. bear at Sam Mazzola’s compound in Columbia Township, OH. The bear attacked Kandra, who died in a hospital about six hours later from sharp and blunt force trauma to his body.
Mazzola admits that at one time, Kandra was his employee, but that on Aug. 19 Kandra was visiting him and his animals as just a friend.
Iroquois was euthanized at the request of Kendra’s family.
OSHA says there were problems on Mazzola’s property despite the fact that it didn’t issue any citations.
A letter OSHA sent to Mazzola stated, “Direct or free contact with dangerous animals, such as bears, is a recognized hazard that is likely to cause death or serious physical harm to employees and others.”
OSHA recommended Mazzola prohibit free contact with dangerous and exotic animals and instead use holding areas when caregivers feed the animals, clean their cages or perform other activities within the animals’ living quarters.
Mazzola reportedly owns tigers, a lion, black bears, wolves, skunks, raccoons and foxes.
Local prosecutors are still investigating.