Topeka, Kansas


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James B. Biggs
James B. Biggs
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Father Files Suit After Daughter Killed By Tiger

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A wrongful death lawsuit has been filed by the father of a teenage girl that was killed by a tiger last year.

On Aug. 18, 2005, Haley Hiderbrand, a Labett County High School senior, was mauled to death while having her senior pictures taken with a Siberian tiger at the Lost Creek Animal Sanctuary near Mound Valley, Kansas.

The suit seeks more than $75,000 for medical and funeral expenses, as well as mental anguish, and states that Haley wanted to have her picture taken only with tiger cubs but instead caretakers at the sanctuary used a 550-pound tiger. The lawsuit names the owners of the sanctuary, Doug and Keith Billingsly, and Lost Creek Animal Sanctuary and Animal Entertainment Productions, a company started by the Billingsly’s to supply exotic animals for entertainment acts, as defendants.

The Lost Creek Animal Sanctuary was first opened in 1994 by the Billingsly’s. The compound held lions, leopards, bears and several species of tiger. Several students at area high schools had pictures taken with the animals, and no problems with the exotic cats had been reported before Haley’s death.