Bear kept by wrestling promoter kills worker
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, July/August 2010:
Pressure on Ohio Governor Ted Strickland to issue a promised
executive order to ban private possession of exotic and dangerous
animals intensified on August 20, 2010 when one of nine bears kept
by bear wrestling promoter Sam Mazzola killed Brent Kandra, 24, a
six-year employee at Mazzola’s 17-acre compound in Lorain County.
The bear was reportedly not one used in the wrestling shows.
Begun circa 1986, Mazzola’s traveling barroom bear wrestling
act briefly disappeared after Mazzola was sent to Ohio state prison
in 1990 for alleged cocaine trafficking. The act was closed or
prohibited by authorities in Ohio, Michigan, New York, Ontario,
and Manitoba between 1994 and 1998. In 2008 the USDA took away
Mazzola’s exhibiton license and fined him $14,000 for allegedly not
permitting inspections and threatening officials.
In September 2009 Mazzola “pleaded guilty in U.S. District
Court to two federal criminal charges of exhibiting and selling
exotic animals without a license. He was sentenced to three years
probation and ordered to do community service,” reported Amanda
Garrett of the Cleveland Plain Dealer