By RYAN GORMAN
An American man was savagely killed by a camel at the wildlife sanctuary he owned in Mexico – possibly over a bottle of soda.
Richard Mieski, either 60 or 70-years-old, and originally from Chicago, was kicked, bit and sat on Monday by an infuriated camel, according to the Associated Press. He was pronounced dead after workers pulled the animal off him using ropes.
"The camel kicked and bit him practically to death, and when he was almost dead, he sat on him," said Tulum Civil Defense official Alberto Canto. "Between the blows and the weight of the camel on top of him, he was asphyxiated."
The circumstances surrounding the camel's fit of rage are not clear, but Canto was told the animal did not get his daily dose of Coca-Cola.
"One version is that he would always give him a Coca Cola to drink, and apparently, that day he didn't give him the Coca Cola," Canto said.
Authorities reportedly seized more than a dozen spider monkeys, six deer, two emus, two llamas a wild boar and the camel while investigating the bizarre death.
They are to be "held by the manager of the facility in administrative custody," or allowed to remain in the park but not permitted to leave, according to the AP.
Authorities confirmed details of the man's death to the Daily Mail.
"When we arrived, the people who were there said the camel got out of its stable and attacked him," Antonio Gomez, a Tulum emergency services spokesman, told the paper. "It dragged him, climbed on top of him, was kicking him, biting him and sat on top of him."
The U.S. Embassy in Mexico did not immediately confirm the man's name, but employees posted a picture of Mileski and a statement to the sanctuary's Facebook page.
"Yesterday, on the 13th of October 2014, Richard lost his life caring for one of the animals that he has dedicated the last 15 year of his life to saving," said the statement. "Richard founded the Tulum Monkey Sanctuary on his ranch in order to help rescue an endangered species, the spider monkey, from extinction.
"But he did not limit himself to helping the monkeys, for his compassion ran the entire range of species from dogs to ducks and horses to javali," the statement continued. "Thank you Richard for all of those you have helped along your way. From those who have no voices to those of us who do."
The park does not have papers proving legal ownership of the animals, authorities said.
Tulum Monkey Sanctuary is located near a number of popular resort towns, including Playa del Carmen. The dozens of photo albums filled with park visitors over the years show it to be a popular destination.
Its immediate future, or that of the animals, is not known.
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