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serenafan08
Aug 22nd, 2005, 04:01 AM
OMG you guys it is so sad...I live in southeast Kansas (woohoo), and a girl named Miranda Hilderbrand was doing her senior photo shoot in a town nearby on Thursday. She wanted to have her picture taken with a white tiger that is apart of an exotic animal exhibit. Well, the tiger turned on her during the shoot and she was killed. He mauled her to death. :tears: It is so sad! This is the article about it in our town's newspaper.

Tiger kills LC senior

Hilderbrand had spent time with cats at Lost Creek Animal Sanctuary

By Colleen Surridge

Parsons Sun

ALTAMONT - The first day of school was solemn for many Labette County High School students today after the death Thursday of their classmate, Haley Hilderbrand, who was attacked by a Siberian tiger during a senior picture photo shoot.

The Greenbush Crisis Center team was on hand for students today.

Hilderbrand of Altamont was posing with the 7-year-old tiger at the Lost Creek Animal Sanctuary in Mound Valley Thursday morning. The large cat was being restrained by its handler, Doug Billingsly, when it attacked, the Labette County Sheriff's Department reported.

Billingsly and responding deputies killed the tiger. Deputies and emergency medical service personnel began treating Hilderbrand, who had been severely bitten, but they were unable to revive her.

Billingsly, with anguish riddling his face and tears falling, said he would "have no comment" as he walked from his back yard, where the attack occurred, into his home, where EMS personnel continued to monitor him for two hours.

Hilderbrand was just one of many students to have her senior picture taken with the tigers. The walls of the guidance office at LCHS are testament to the many students who, since the sanctuary opened in 1994, have chosen to pose with the cats.

Gail Welden of G.W. Photography was there to take the picture Thursday. Although she said she could not comment on specifics before she was interviewed by the sheriff's department, she did say she has taken pictures of seniors at the sanctuary before and she has never felt uncomfortable doing so.

"Haley had always wanted to have her picture taken with the tigers," said LCHS English teacher Catherine Dean, who was close to Hilderbrand. "She went out there a lot."

Dean could hardly register the loss of one of her students, and a young lady who even baby-sat her son.

"She was on my yearbook staff and she was a good student," Dean said. "She had a really good personality and she was a real joy to have in class. She kind of had this zeal for life and she wanted to live it to the fullest.

"This is a horrible thing. Any time someone this young dies, it's horrible. I feel numb."

Billingsly and his family opened the 80-acre sanctuary as a state-licensed rescue facility for exotic animals. Lost Creek is home to bears, lions, Bengal and Siberian tigers, leopards, white tigers and even a liger, a rare cross between a lion and a tiger.

The sanctuary is also affiliated Animal Entertainment Productions, which trains animals for stage performances, movies, television shows and magic shows around the world.

In the history of the facility, no problems have ever been reported with the animals exhibiting aggressive behavior, and Billingsly has always instilled in those near the animals a healthy respect for the fact they are wild, no matter how beautiful and cuddly they look. It was not stated in the sheriff's report what led to the tiger attack.

Dean Fouts, Billingsly's closest neighbor, was shocked to hear the news and said he has never had any problem with living near the exotic animals.

"Ignorance is the biggest fear we have," Fouts said. "As soon as they started moving in the animals I started going down there and seeing what was going on. Then I started going on a regular basis. Both my daughters have had their senior pictures taken with the cats.

"(Billingsly) has put a lot of time and work into it and I'd hate to see him lose his business.

"It's just too bad what's happened," Fouts said, tears welling in his eyes over the death of Hilderbrand.

Neighbor Jerry Helms said he had seen such incidents on television, but never expected it to happen at Billingsly's.

"I'm shocked," Helms said. "It's terrible."

Another neighbor, Barbara Moon, said the Billingslys have always been very careful with the handling the animals and she has never been afraid.

"I have had some concerns about if they ever got loose. I have thought about what I would do if one ever got loose. My grandkids go back to the pond to feed the ducks," Moon said. "We have been over there though to visit. He said they were wild animals and to never trust them or turn your back on them. They are always on alert and I have never heard of any incidents."

For Hilderbrand's friends, trying to understand the loss of someone who touched their lives in a special way is difficult.

"Haley was always ready and willing for anything. She was the most energetic person I have ever met," Jeanna Spencer said. "The thing I remember her for the most is her smile. ... Her smile was so different than anyone else's. She just had something about her that could change your day in a minute. ... Even though Haley wasn't my best friend, she sure made an impact on my life."

TF Chipmunk
Aug 22nd, 2005, 04:06 AM
:sad::bigcry::tears: That's truly sad...

Steam
Aug 22nd, 2005, 04:48 AM
That is so fucked up.

decemberlove
Aug 22nd, 2005, 04:56 AM
It is terrible, but when are people going to fucking learn that some animals will always be wild?

Steam
Aug 22nd, 2005, 05:03 AM
It is terrible, but when are people going to fucking learn that some animals will always be wild?

That is a very good point. It is just like whatever member of Siegfried & Roy getting mauled. I feel more bad about this one though since this was just a girl and not someone who had been exploiting the animals for years.

selking
Aug 22nd, 2005, 05:05 AM
That is the dumbest thing I have ever heard. sad but totally avoidable

Infiniti2001
Aug 22nd, 2005, 05:16 AM
That is a very good point. It is just like whatever member of Siegfried & Roy getting mauled. I feel more bad about this one though since this was just a girl and not someone who had been exploiting the animals for years.


Yep!! To this day these two duffusses are claiming the tiger did not intentionally hurt him :eek: Meanwhile will the girl's parents sue the sanctury owners? :shrug:

SJW
Aug 22nd, 2005, 05:20 AM
It is terrible, but when are people going to fucking learn that some animals will always be wild?
exactly :sad: i told you about my love for lions and shit...but i would never pet one or anything because those things are PREDATORS. humans can be so daft sometimes...

i do feel bad for this girl though. horrible way to die :(

serenafan08
Aug 22nd, 2005, 05:29 AM
That is the dumbest thing I have ever heard. sad but totally avoidable
I thought the exact same thing when I heard about it. I was like, "First off - I wouldn't even set foot near a wild animal, let alone take a picture with it!" Wild animals are just that - wild. They can turn on the people that have raised them since they were born. This whole tragedy was so sad and unfortunate, but like you said, she could have avoided it.

serenafan08
Aug 22nd, 2005, 05:30 AM
Meanwhile will the girl's parents sue the sanctury owners? :shrug:
You know that's a good question. Apparently, other students have taken their pictures with animals at this same sanctuary, and this was the first time that one of the animals attacked a person. I haven't heard any rumors of the family suing the owner.

Wigglytuff
Aug 22nd, 2005, 05:32 AM
ummm why would someone want to take their picture with a TIGER!!

Maryamator
Aug 22nd, 2005, 07:09 AM
OMG this is so SAD!!! :sad: :sad:

CooCooCachoo
Aug 22nd, 2005, 08:03 AM
Sad as it is, she should have thought twice.

~ The Leopard ~
Aug 22nd, 2005, 09:26 AM
What were they thinking?

~ The Leopard ~
Aug 22nd, 2005, 09:28 AM
I mean, even a li'l pussycat will sometimes go into predator mode and try to maul your arm or something. That's fine for a ten-pound moggy. If a huge, powerful cat like a lion or a tiger acts that way, it'll tear a human being apart in no time.


I do see the attraction in having the pic taken. The tiger must have been a beautiful creature.

But actually going near it with no real protection (like iron bars between you and it) was a very bad idea. Poor silly girl. And the owners were culpable in encouraging this practice; it was a disaster waiting to happen.

@m@nd@
Aug 22nd, 2005, 09:44 AM
poor girl :sad:. i would never ever pose with a wild animal :eek:

ceiling_fan
Aug 22nd, 2005, 09:58 AM
stupid :cuckoo:

but very sad :sad:

Zippy
Aug 22nd, 2005, 11:55 AM
First off that's very unfortunate sad for the girl's family and friends. My best regards.

But I'm sorry but I must say one thig that most will bite their lip before saying. That VERY sad for the Tiger too. It was supposedly taken from it's natural habitat (home in the wild) to be better nurtured and cared for by us humans. Not killed. NO ONE has the right to be upset with the poor Tiger and what it did. See, aminals don't have rational minds that are built to reason like ours. They just go on INSTINCT. And guess what; it's natural instinct is that it's a PREDATOR. It's BORN to maul and eat LIVING FLESH. That's what predator carnivoric animals have been doing since the dawn of time. And then we go and at all appalled and shocked when it does what it's SUPPOSED to do. It's our (or those peoples) fault for constantly trying to make wild animals something that they are not. When will people finally freakin realize this.

CondiLicious
Aug 22nd, 2005, 12:37 PM
It's sad but... why kill the tiger? It was just acting off instinct. It's the same as when people get eaten by sharks and idiots go out and try and find and kill the shark :rolleyes: cause yeah... you'll find the exact shark...

The Crow
Aug 22nd, 2005, 12:42 PM
Poor tiger.

Zippy
Aug 22nd, 2005, 12:45 PM
Poor tiger.
Thanks :) At least there are a few others that can also see outside the box :yeah:

;)

SelesFan70
Aug 22nd, 2005, 12:57 PM
This story is like people who build houses along a river and then are on TV crying saying "Why?" when the river floods and detroys their houses. :rolleyes: A tiger is a tiger is a tiger...animals kill. Duh.

TheBoiledEgg
Aug 22nd, 2005, 01:04 PM
Poor tiger.

agree 100%
he probably thought it was food time :lick:

whoever let the girl go in there to take her picture should have been thrown in with the tiger as well.

SpikeyAidanm
Aug 22nd, 2005, 01:07 PM
Sad but I flushed a leech down the toilet the other day so perhaps I'm just as bad.

The Crow
Aug 22nd, 2005, 01:29 PM
Actiually I'm sad for the girl as well. People do stupid things, especially when they're young (I know I did :o). But as eggy said, the owners of the tigers + the school principal and responsibles should be sued big time.

~ The Leopard ~
Aug 22nd, 2005, 01:35 PM
I'm still shaking my head at this. We're talking about a 7-y.o. Siberian tiger here, according to the article. Those are the biggest cats on earth, even bigger than lions and ordinary tigers. The girl would have been just a tasty snack for it. She shouldn't have been allowed near it without some kind of strong barrier in between.

And so they shot the poor cat, as if that could bring the girl back. I imagine that they didn't have much choice - there's probably a theory (right or wrong) that it would be more dangerous to human beings once it had tasted human flesh once. Blah, blah. But what a screw-up, losing the girl and then having to kill a beautiful, rare animal that nature designed to kill prey.

The Crow
Aug 22nd, 2005, 01:45 PM
The Leopard, I'm assuming they killed the tiger when trying to save the girl, no? :confused:

CondiLicious
Aug 22nd, 2005, 01:58 PM
The Leopard, I'm assuming they killed the tiger when trying to save the girl, no? :confused:

I heard on cnn that they "destroyed" the tiger afterwards.

The Crow
Aug 22nd, 2005, 02:23 PM
That's just stupid (and thus human).

Wiggly
Aug 22nd, 2005, 02:32 PM
I heard on cnn that they "destroyed" the tiger afterwards.

:rolleyes: :sad: A tiger is not a animal who want to take some picture, he want to eat :)

Infiniti2001
Aug 22nd, 2005, 03:05 PM
I heard on cnn that they "destroyed" the tiger afterwards.

Well it's common practice to put animals who've attacked humans down in America. Heck they do it to dogs all the time ...

beauty_is_pink
Aug 22nd, 2005, 03:13 PM
:sad: that's so sad

Gerri
Aug 22nd, 2005, 03:15 PM
It's sad but... why kill the tiger? It was just acting off instinct. It's the same as when people get eaten by sharks and idiots go out and try and find and kill the shark :rolleyes: cause yeah... you'll find the exact shark...

A lot of people are full of blood lust too :fiery:

Poor girl, poor tiger. I don't know why stupidity surprises me any more.

Helen Lawson
Aug 22nd, 2005, 03:37 PM
This is going to sound really horrible, but I can't stop laughing about this. I don't know what it is. The way the headline is written? It's a terrible tragedy obviously, but what kind of moron goes up next to a wild cat? Also, I think back to this movie I saw like 30 years ago, I can't remember the name. Some white family was trapped in a big mansion in Kenya and crazed lions were stalking them, so they holed up in the mansion. Well, these were really smart lions, they came down the chimney a la Santa Claus and stuff, so of course, most of the family gets eaten, but in this one scene the "native" Black maid (who appears to be doing some kind of Creole accent even though she's African??) is of course the first casualty, and in the scene where the lion makes off with her (to where, they're in the house?) it's like this really phony rag-doll double for the maid and it's like thrashing around unnaturally and was hilarious to watch.

I feel bad for the girl and the tiger, but I don't know, I just find mauling to be sort of funny.

Lachrymarum
Aug 22nd, 2005, 03:42 PM
Very sad story. :sad: However it's so true what people have been typing: A wild animal kills. End of story.

skanky~skanketta
Aug 22nd, 2005, 03:46 PM
IMA this is sad, but she had it coming. and wtf is up with killing the tiger? white tigers are almost fucking extinct. beautiful creatures. leave them in the wild. if you're afraid of poachers, keep them in a sanctuary but no bullshit such as photos and stuff. geez.

Wigglytuff
Aug 22nd, 2005, 03:53 PM
This story is like people who build houses along a river and then are on TV crying saying "Why?" when the river floods and detroys their houses. :rolleyes: A tiger is a tiger is a tiger...animals kill. Duh.
:lol: :lol: :lol: :devil: :lol:

"Sluggy"
Aug 22nd, 2005, 04:10 PM
I only do photo shoots with Slugs, they are much more gentle albeit disgusting, Tigers are out of my league.

CC
Aug 22nd, 2005, 07:53 PM
They probably see models and celebrities on TV posing with exotic animals and think it's no big deal.

Helen Lawson
Aug 22nd, 2005, 08:06 PM
Does anyone know the movie I'm talking about above--it's making me crazy because I can't find it. It was like late 70s, moderate, mid-level budget gore, the lead bimbo was the daughter who looked about 12 and resembled Jodie Foster, but wasn't. They're wealthy and live on this compound, I think they even have a cement tennis court, and slowly, the lions start surrounding the estate. They end up holed up in the house all freaked out. Like maybe 50 lions are all over the driveway, roof, everywhere. They start coming down the chimney at one point. I think an uncle makes a run for it to a jeep, but he doesn't make it. The blonde girl survives, maybe a brother, too. It was scary in a funny sort of way. The funniest was, I really don't think lions are going to stalk people and hold them prisoner in a house, much less come down a chimney to eat them. It was a mansion, too, plenty of places to hide from even above-average intelligence lions. Again, the Creole-accented Kenyan-native maid is not to be missed.

Wigglytuff
Aug 22nd, 2005, 08:11 PM
Well it's common practice to put animals who've attacked humans down in America. Heck they do it to dogs all the time ...
its common practice for wild animals but not dogs. to put down a dangerous dog you would need to go to court to show cause.

Sally Struthers
Aug 22nd, 2005, 08:15 PM
what a moron. I guess it's sad and all that she got mauled to death by the tiger but shit happens when you mess with wild animals.

HAIL-VENUS
Aug 23rd, 2005, 01:27 AM
I'm suprised that nobody here has mentioned the role of the parents. I find it hard to believe that they didn't have to sign some kind of contract or something warning them of the dangers. I still say that they can get some money if they sue, but I'm thinking "why the hell would you allow your daughter to do such a thing". Maybe they thought that it would be ok since she'd been spending time with the animals. But, one thing I've learned from others concerning wild animal bonding is that they are incapable of making personal connections. They're wild. They don't form caring and loving and loyal feelings for humans. They are simply driven by their instincts, which may sometimes become ferocious. I still feel sorry for Haley, though. She was probably so looking forward to her senior year :sad:, and graduating and going off to college, and finding the love of her life and getting married and raising a family. I could really give a fuck about the tiger. Damn the tiger. A poor misguided young girl has been bitten to death. That's what I feel sorry about.

*Karen*
Aug 23rd, 2005, 01:56 AM
That is so sad people need to stop using animals for show. The only thing they should be taking out of their environment for is to help breed endangered species.

serenafan08
Aug 23rd, 2005, 02:42 AM
She was probably so looking forward to her senior year :sad:, and graduating and going off to college, and finding the love of her life and getting married and raising a family. I could really give a fuck about the tiger. Damn the tiger. A poor misguided young girl has been bitten to death. That's what I feel sorry about.
That's the part I feel most upset about. Your senior year in high school is one of the best years of your life, or at least it should be. Poor Haley won't get to experience that. But this is life; we all have to go sometime, and unfortunately it was her time.

gentenaire
Aug 23rd, 2005, 09:15 AM
its common practice for wild animals but not dogs. to put down a dangerous dog you would need to go to court to show cause.

(American) friends of mine recently had their dog put down because he'd bitten his owner. It was heartbreaking because they truly loved that dog. It was a great Dane, they'd got him from an animal shelter. In the last three months he'd bitten three people, then he was being aggressive towards a friend of their daughter (11 year old girl) and eventually he turned on them, bit my friend's husband. Because they have a two year old running around, they didn't think it safe to keep the dog. Not a single shelter wanted to take him on because they don't take dogs that bite. So they had no choice.

When I was in South Africa, I also heard the same story the Leopard here mentioned, that wild animals are put down after tasting human flesh because it makes them hungry for more. Apparentely, once a tiger or a lion attacks a human, it'll go out of his way to attack more humans. I remember hearing a story about a Zimbabwan, I think, who was trying to enter South Africa illegally, climbed over a fence and ended up in the middle of a game reserve where he was mauled to death. The rangers of the reserve had to track down the lion who attacked him, not an easy task in such large reserves, to put him down.


As for the case of this girl, it's truly very tragic. I can't reallly blame the girl. I mean, if so many others have posed with the tiger before, if you see the pictures every day, it doesn't seem dangerous. And at that age, I think many would do it. The blame lies with the school and the cat owners for allowing such a practice. In fact, it was apparently a business for the owners. They should have known better. It was a tragedy waiting to happen.

london64
Aug 23rd, 2005, 02:38 PM
Serenafan08: Do you live anywhere near Chanute?

serenafan08
Aug 24th, 2005, 01:31 AM
Serenafan08: Do you live anywhere near Chanute?
Yeah, I live in Parsons. Chanute's like 35 miles north of me.