Sloth bites and injures child at animal center: lawsuit against SC

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A sloth bite injured a child in South Carolina, a lawsuit has heard. This file photo was taken in New Jersey.

ASSOCIATED PRESS

A family was visiting an animal center when a sloth suddenly bit a child’s finger, “reaching the bone”, a South Carolina mother said.

Candise Gore and her child are suing Charleston Sloth and Exotics after claiming an animal bite cut the youngster’s skin on June 28. The child received medical treatment after being injured at the business – also known as Charleston Anteaters and Exotics, according to a lawsuit filed this month.

Heather Galvin, who runs the business with Henry Galvin, apparently doesn’t have an animal license and said it was the first time the sloth had ever bitten someone.

“The child who was bitten was held by the mother taking selfies,” Galvin told WCSC. “We told the mother three times[…]to move, but we were ignored. The child was lightly bitten. We refunded them. I texted them for a week to check on them and offered to pay the doctor’s bills.

Galvin said the company informed the family about the safety and “warned them about the teeth,” the TV station reported.

But the child and mother countered this story, saying they were not told the animal could bite or “given instructions on how to behave towards animals, how to interact with animals, how to feed the animals or how to pet them”. animals.”

Instead, the family in the lawsuit said they were given slices of fruit and “encouraged to enter the enclosure of the sloth’s habitat for the purpose of interacting with, petting and feeding the sloth. lazy”.

Inside the enclosure, the animal bit the child “without warning”, causing “tremendous pain and discomfort”, according to the lawsuit.

The family accuses Charleston Sloth and Exotics of failing to run a safe facility and said they hope for a jury trial.

Known for their slowness, sloths can weigh up to 17 pounds. The animals have “surprisingly large teeth, which can inflict serious injury if the sloth is frightened or irritated”, according to Brevard Zoo in Florida.

“While they may seem as endearing as our pets, sloths retain their natural instincts,” the wildlife center said in a blog post. “Generally, sloths don’t like to be petted, groomed, or bathed.”

Charleston Sloth and Exotics did not immediately respond to requests for comment from McClatchy News on Thursday.

This story was originally published July 22, 2021 10:23 a.m.

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Simone Jasper is a reporter who covers breaking news for The News & Observer and real-time news in the Carolinas.

Benjamin M. Yerger