Archive for Wednesday, August 22, 2001

Owner says exotic pets must go

27-year old woman bitten on arm by African lion

August 22, 2001

After a neighbor was bitten on the arm Sunday by a pet lion, a rural Tonganoxie man has decided to find new homes for his exotic animals.

Richard Provance, who lives at 23299 George Road, keeps three African lions and two black bears in pens in his rural backyard.

"I'm going to get rid of them," Provance said. "I don't want this to happen again."

Provance, who raised the lions since they were 10 days old, said he frequently gets in the pen and plays with them.

"I'm not scared for myself or that they'll ever do it to someone else again," Provance said. "But I'm not going to take that chance."

Sunday afternoon, while Provance was vacationing at Lake of the Ozarks, a neighbor, Misty Allison, 27, came over to feed peaches to his bears.

According to a report by the Leavenworth County Sheriff's Department, Allison was standing at the lions' cage when a lion grabbed her hand with a paw, pulled her arm inside the cage and bit her upper right arm.

Allison was taken by Lifestar helicopter to the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City, Kan., where she was treated and released.

Provance, who learned the details when he returned, said he normally does not allow people near the pens. He said he believed the lion was playing.

"If she wasn't playing, she probably could have taken her arm off," he said.

Provance, who was not acquainted with the victim, said he felt bad about the incident.

"It bothers me that I'm going to get rid of my animals," Provance said. "But it bothers me, too, that the lady got bit."

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