The American owner of a Mexican wildlife center was killed by a camel after the animal escaped its pen and attacked him.
Richard Mileski was walking through Tulum Monkey Sanctuary in Tulum on Tuesday when the camel escaped. The animal dragged Mileski to the ground and kicked, bit and trampled him before sitting on top of the 60-year-old.
One park employee was in another part of the park when he heard Mileski scream, then rushed to the scene and attempted to beat the camel away with a stick. Despite employee efforts, Mileski died on the scene.
Following the incident, the camel was taken to Mexico’s federal agency of environmental protection Profepa.
“We had to tie a rope around the animal's neck and pull him with a pick-up truck to remove him,” one employee said.
On Wednesday, the sanctuary temporarily closed in order to honor Mileski, who park employees described as a “caring” animal lover and founder of the park.
“[Mileski] did not limit himself to helping the monkeys, for his compassion ran the entire range of species from dogs to ducks and horses to javali,” a Facebook post regarding his death reads. “Thank you Richard for all of those you have helped along your way. From those who have no voices to those of us who do.”
Mileski, a Chicago native, originally founded the sanctuary 15 years ago with the intention of rescuing the endangered spider monkey from extinction.