2003-12-16 01:44:41 UTC
MILLERS CREEK, N.C. (AP)--A woman's 400-pound Bengal tiger fatally
mauled her 10-year-old nephew after pulling him under a fence and into
his cage, authorities said.
The boy, Clayton James Eller, was shoveling snow Sunday afternoon near
the tiger's cage, an enclosure made of chain link fence that had an
opening at the bottom so the family's dog could go in and play,
``This little boy got too close, and it pulled him under the fence,''
Coroner Howard Laney said.
The boy's uncle, James Marshall Eller, heard Clayton scream and saw it
dragging the boy into its cage. Sheriff Dane Mastin said Eller tried
in vain to to get the tiger off the boy, then ran and got his gun and
shot the tiger to death. But it was too late to save the boy.
The boy's mother, Angela Eller, had left the boy in the care of her
sister Ruth Bynum, the tiger's owner, while she went to work, Mastin
said. James Eller is the brother of the two women.
Mastin said he wasn't aware of any previous complaints about the
Copyright 2003, The Associated Press