SEVIERVILLE, TENN. (CN) – An Asian sloth bear severely mauled a woman whom Smoky Mountain Zoological Park hired to supervise pony rides and gave no training in dangerous animals, the injured woman claims in Sevier County Court. Kimberly Bagent says the bear mauled her after her boss told her to clean the cage and not to worry about a malfunctioning gate in it, but just to spray the bear with water and it would stay away.
Bagent says Curtis and Kathleen Krebs, owners of the zoo in Pigeon Forge, knew she had no training or experience in handling dangerous animals when they hired her, and gave her no training in it.
Bagent says she told the Kathleen Krebs that the guillotine gate in the bear’s cage did not work, and Krebs told her just to spray the bear with water to keep it away. Bagent says Asian sloth bears are known to be aggressive. She says the bear raised the broken guillotine gate and bit and clawed her, inflicting severe injuries, permanent scarring, and costing her more than $17,500 so far in medical bills.
She demands more than $250,000 for negligence, liability and loss of consortium. She is represented by Charles Poole.