Camel kills 2 men, attacks police car after escaping enclosure on Tennessee farm

Police 'put the camel down' when it moved toward responding deputies, according to the Obion County Sheriff's Office.

ByAlex Meier WPVI logo
Friday, March 11, 2022
This stock image shows police tape at an active crime scene.

OBION, Tenn. -- Two people were killed Thursday afternoon after a camel escaped its enclosure on a Tennessee farm and attacked.

Officials said police responded to a call about a loose camel that was attacking people at Shirley Farms in Obion, a rural town in the northwestern corner of the state.

Responding officers began rendering aid to two unconscious men at the farm when the camel "attacked" a police vehicle, according to an Obion County Sheriff's Office statement.

The animal "then [moved] towards deputies who were attempting to move a victim to EMS" and "it was at this time officers had to put the camel down for the safety of everyone on scene."

The victims, identified as 42-year-old Bobby Matheny and 67-year-old Tommy Gunn, were pronounced dead at the scene.

It is unclear how the camel managed to escape its enclosure, what provoked the attacks and what type of injuries the men sustained.

In 2018, six children and one adult were injured when a camel ended up getting loose and running wild at a circus in Pittsburgh. And in 2015, two people were trampled to death when a man snuck into a camel's holding pen on a Texas farm.