A veterinarian prescribed antibiotics Monday for a camel that lives behind an Iberville Parish truck stop after a Florida woman told law officers she bit the 600-pound animal's genitalia after it sat on her when she and her husband entered its enclosure to retrieve their deaf dog.

Sheriff's office documents obtained Monday allege Gloria Lancaster, 68, and Edmond Lancaster, 73, let their unleashed dog enter the pen behind the Tiger Truck Stop at Grosse Tete, 16 miles west of Baton Rouge. The couple told deputies the camel attacked the dog without provocation, but the sheriff's office said the couple and their pooch invaded the camel's "personal space" last Wednesday — Hump Day — by shoving it and swatting at it.

Iberville officials had said Sunday that the Lancasters, of Milton, Florida, told investigators she had to bite the animal's testicles to get it to stand up.

"Edmond stated that his wife bit the camels (sic) private parts in desperation to get the camel off of her as it bit him on the left elbow," an affidavit said. "After the camel stood up his wife was able to get free, grab their small dog and get back outside of the fenced in barbed wire fence."

The deputies said the camel did not harm Edmond Lancaster. "The injury to Edmond is consistent with crawling under the barbwire fence, not with being bitten by the camel," the affidavit says. Security video footage did not match the Lancasters' account.

A deputy wrote in the report that the couple had given "numerous inconsistent verbal statements" that couldn't be corroborated through surveillance video and others who saw the encounter. 

The sheriff's office report said the couple was feeding their deaf dog treats near the fence, and investigators found bone-shaped treats inside of the 6-foot-tall enclosure that's surrounded by signs warning visitors to keep out. 


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Gloria Lancaster said she suffered injuries to her abdomen, neck, shoulder, arm and head and medics transported her to Our Lady of the Lake hospital in Baton Rouge, according to Acadian Ambulance Service. Witnesses said Gloria Lancaster told witnesses that the animal had broken ribs and a collarbone, but that she later asked for a cigarette from a witness and smoked it with no apparent trouble.

Tiger Truck Stop Manager Pamela Bossier said a veterinarian checked Caspar on Monday, and he appeared to be fine but was given antibiotics as a precaution. She described the towering animal as docile, a "gentle giant."

The sheriff's deputy cited the Lancasters for violating dog leash laws and trespassing into the enclosure, both misdemeanors. The sheriff's office didn’t find reasons to hold the truck stop liable for their injuries because of the signs warning visitors to stay out.

The camel is one of several exotic animals the truck stop has on display for visitors, including a miniature horse, a kangaroo and a coati, a member of the raccoon family that’s native to Central and South America.

But the roadside attraction has drawn fire from animal rights groups who for years have sought to remove the animals, including a tiger that lived in Caspar’s pen before it was euthanized in 2017.

Owner Michael Sandlin said the truck stop hasn't had any issues with his animals attacking people, including Caspar.

He said camels sometimes react by sitting or laying on things they see as a threat but are typically friendly with people. He added that video he reviewed showed that Edmond Lancaster stayed in the enclosure for several minutes after his wife got out and continued shoving the camel.

"I'm not sure if he was angry at it or what," Sandlin said. “But it strengthens our argument that they were up to no good."

He said that he plans to release the video at a later time.

Calls to phone numbers and messages left on the Lancasters' social media accounts weren't returned Monday.

Email Youssef Rddad at yrddad@theadvocate.com.