Henry County

Bear bites volunteer at Noah’s Ark Animal Sanctuary, state investigating

HENRY COUNTY, Ga. — Cooperating with officials is what Noah’s Ark leaders say they’re doing, after a long time member of the facility was bit by a bear on Tuesday.

“That gives me cold chills,” said Allison Hedgecoth.

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources  confirming with Channel 2′s Ashli Lincoln they were notified about the bite. The DNR says the bear named Tuffy, grab a hold of the volunteers hand and bit it after she was trying to feed him medicine coated in peanut butter through a fence.

[DOWNLOAD: Free WSB-TV News app for alerts as news breaks]

In a statement Noah’s Ark says first aid was immediately rendered and the Henry County Animal Control’s office was notified.

Former Animal Husbandry Manager Allison Hedgecoth says she feared something like this happening, after rounds of layoffs and resignations of qualified employees took place earlier this year. Hedgecoth says the resignations and terminations were in relation to the criticism of Noah’s Ark’s new board leadership.

“That’s been my main fear, this entire time an animal hurting somebody, killing somebody, or an animal escaping,” Hedgecoth said.

Tuffy remains on property and is undergoing a 10 day quarantine and observation by Henry County Animal Control.


Noah’s Ark complete statement; Safety of our staff and animals is always our top priority. On Nov. 15 a long-time team member injured her hand while administering medication to a special needs bear in our charge. First aid was immediately rendered and Henry County Animal Control officials were notified and responded in a timely and highly-professional manner. Our team member is home and healing, the bear remains in our care, and we are fully cooperating with officials as we ensure that our established safety protocols are followed at all times.- Noah’s Ark Animal Sanctuary