1. #1
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    Talking Harrison Camel Prompts 911 Call

    The AP version of this story was in the local paper today, happened in the next county...was good for a laugh this morning, woulda been better with pictures!

    Did a web search and found the story on another WV newspaper's website...couldn't find the AP version...


    The Charleston Gazette
    May 20, 2005
    Harrison camel prompts 911 call


    By Tom Searls
    Staff writer

    Being only a friendly youngster, Punjab, a 1,500-pound Harrison County camel, was probably just trying to cozy up to a woman painting his fence Wednesday.

    “The camel got down beside her and sat on her foot and when it did, it scared her,” camel-owner Woody Mayle of Bethlehem said Thursday.

    Mayle said the woman — a neighbor whose name he declined to reveal — knows Punjab and had agreed to paint the inside of the wooden fence, where the animal resides. Afraid after the animal knocked her down, the woman sat still and dialed 911 on her cell phone, telling the dispatcher she was trapped by a camel and to send help and contact Mayle.

    Paramedics arrived at Mayle’s residence after he got there. “I don’t know why she just didn’t call me,” said Mayle, a car dealer.

    Neither Punjab nor the victim required medical attention, said Harrison County EMS Capt. Mark Hartman. “It pretty well knocked her down and pinned her to the ground,” he said.

    Mayle called that a stretch, though he admitted Punjab might have frightened the woman while munching on her hair. “It did nibble at her hair,” he said. “It was chewing on her hair.”

    Ambulance driver Brent Hicks said the victim was having trouble breathing, and paramedics weren’t certain how to handle the situation. “There is no protocol on something like this,’’ said Hicks.

    When he arrived home, Mayle said he simply grabbed the camel’s harness and pulled until it got to its feet. “He’s tame, and everybody that knows him knows that,” he said.

    In fact, he said Punjab — named for the bodyguard of Daddy Warbucks in the “Little Orphan Annie” comic strip — is a church-going animal. “At Christmas, we take him around to churches,” Mayle said.

    State Department of Agriculture officials said they were not aware of a camel residing in Harrison County and do not have a health certificate for Punjab. Exotic animals coming into the state are supposed to be checked for diseases and to ensure they have had immunization shots, but, frequently, veterinarians do not forward the information to the department, said Buddy Davidson, Agriculture spokesman.

    No state agency has control of exotic animals, though Agriculture is responsible for the health checks for circus animals.

    Punjab isn’t the only animal residing at Mayle’s Bethlehem home.

    “He’s got a wide variety of animals,” Shinnston firefighter Corey Grooms said, noting they are all legal.

    Mayle has deer, dogs, cats and “little pigs that run around” on the place, but only one camel. “That’s enough,” he said.

    Having the animals around has been a passion of his son. “I asked my son why he wanted that camel and he said, ‘Doesn’t everybody?’ ” he said.

    In the two years of living with the camel, the family has developed a fondness for Punjab. “We’ve had him since he was four days old and he’s real tame,” Mayle said.

    To contact staff writer Tom Searls, use e-mail or call (304)348-5192.
    IACOJ

    "And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap it if we do not lose heart."

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    That was a strange call, Ithought getting a possum out of a toilet was a strange call.

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