Sam Mazzola Gets to Keep His Bears


1 comment

You can look at the bear, you just cant take the bear.
  • You can look at the bear, you just can't take the bear.

Sam Mazzola, the man whose bear mauled and killed Brent Kandra just a few weeks ago, has been under increased pressure from groups around Ohio and authorities to get rid of his wild animal collection, which includes a lion and tigers in addition to his bears.

Even after Deirdre Herbert, Kandra's mother, sent Governor Ted Strickland a letter supporting new rules governing those who own and keep wild animals, it looks as if Mazzola will get to keep his zoo.

Officials in Columbia Station tell the AP that they can't force Mazzola to give up his animals.

A meeting Tuesday night included Mazzola's neighbors, many of whom voiced concerns over their safety should one of the exotic animals escape. Trustees listened, but could do nothing.

Governor Strickland is among those working on a new batch of regulations that would govern exotic animals in the state. One proposal includes a grandfather clause that would allow anyone who already owns them to continue doing so.

That was one of the specific points Herbert disagreed with in her letter to the Governor.

For the meantime, the lions and tigers and bears (Oh my! is right) stay at Mazzola's home, a place humans should probably avoid for the time being.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.