Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Park owners deny negligence when a chimpanzee bit off a woman’s hand.

A local animal park has denied any negligence or responsibility in an incident where a chimpanzee bit off much of a woman’s hand.

In January, Carol Baker filed suit against the Wild Wilderness Drive-Thru Safari in Gentry.

According to the complaint, Baker was at the safari on Oct. 9, 2004. She was feeding animals. She was preparing to feed a chimpanzee when the animal reached through the bars of its cage, grabbed Baker’s clothing and pulled her into the cage.

Springdale attorney James Crouch recently filed an answer to the suit. In the answer, he denied any negligence or responsibility on behalf of the safari. Crouch asked for the suit to be dismissed.

Crouch admits Baker was bitten by a chimp, but claims Baker’s injuries were caused by her own contributory negligence.

The suit alleges that the chimpanzee grabbed Baker’s left arm and hand, then bit off much of her hand, including two fingers.

The suit states the chimpanzee is owned by the safari and the business is liable for the actions of its animals. The suit claims the incident was a result of the safari’s negligence.

The suit claims Baker sustained injuries which are permanent, and she incurred disfigurement and scarring. She also seeks damages for past and future medical bills; pain and suffering; loss of enjoyment of life; and loss of past and future earning capacity.

The suit is seeking unspecified monetary damages.

Story here.

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