Posted: Nov 13, 2012 3:16 PM by Judy Slate
Updated: Nov 13, 2012 3:25 PM
BOZEMAN - An animal rights group is asking the federal government to investigate the recent death of a man that involved a captive bear north of Bozeman.
Earlier this month, Benjamin Cloutier, 24, was killed while cleaning a bear cage at Animals of Montana which provides trained wildlife for commercial photo and film shoots.
The Gallatin County Sheriff's Department has ruled Cloutier's death an accident. Now PETA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, wants The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to investigate the death. According to PETA, Animals of Montana violated OSHA regulations by not providing a work environment free of hazards.
"No matter how trained a person is, no matter how experienced they are, now matter how much they try to protect against the risk, it's going to be impossible to stop a grizzly bear or a tiger from acting like the wild animals that they are," says PETA Foundation Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Delcianna Winders.
According to PETA, there should have been a barrier between Cloutier and the bears at the time of he was killed. Two sibling bears were in the cage when Cloutier was killed. One of them, named Grizz, was shot and killed when Cloutier's body was discovered. Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks has requested that Grizz's brother Yosemite, be put down as well.
Demetri Price, the head trainer at Animals of Montana has no comment regarding the PETA complaint. As we reported over the weekend, Price says they have no intention of killing Yosemite.