Brent Kandra, 24, of, was on a routine feeding of exotic animals at Sam Mazzola’s animal menagerie; when he was attacked by a bear. The bear mauled Kandra to death just days after Kandra’s father begged him to quit the job.
The bear was euthanized at the request of the family. Kandra was an animal lover and enthusiast as long as his family could remember. His love of animals led him to Sam Mazzola. Mazzola is the owner of a refuge containing wolves, tigers and bears; southwest of Cleveland. Mazzola has been under criticism by animal rights activists for letting people wrestle with one of the bears.
Prior to the incident, Kandra was considering quitting the job for lack of pay. “It just seemed like Sam kind of took advantage of my son,” John Kandra said. His father pled with Brent to leave the job.
Mazzola owned four tigers, a lion, eight bears and twelve wolves at the time of a bankruptcy hearing in May. The USDA had revoked Mazzola’s license to exhibit animals after animal rights activists approached them about “wrestling bears.” The Humane Society is working towards prohibiting the private ownership of exotic animals.