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Montana company faces fines in fatal bear mauling

May 1, 2013 • Entertainment


FILE – In this Sept. 19, 2012 file photo provided by David McKay, grizzly bears, Griz, right, and Yosemite are seen at Animals of Montana, a captive animal facility near Bozeman, Mont. Federal authorities say the death of a Montana animal trainer mauled by the two 500-pound captive brown bears could have been prevented if standard safety procedures had been followed. Twenty-four-year-old Benjamin Cloutier was killed in November while cleaning the Syrian brown bears’ pen at Animals of Montana, which rents out captive-bred animals for photography shoots and motion pictures. (AP Photo/David McKay, File)

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — The death of a Montana animal trainer mauled by a pair of 500-pound captive brown bears could have been prevented if standard safety practices had been followed, federal authorities said Tuesday, as state officials revealed that the private menagerie where the death occurred has seen numerous animal escapes.

Benjamin Cloutier, 24, was killed in November while cleaning the pens of two Syrian brown bears — named Griz and Yosemite — at Animals of Montana near Bozeman. The company provides captive-bred predators and other animals for photography shoots and motion pictures.

The U.S. Department of Labor said the circumstances of Cloutier’s death violated federal workplace safety rules. The agency proposed $9,000 in fines for allowing employees to have direct contact with bears and for Login to read more

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