Child Receives $155k Settlement For Camel Bite That Nearly Cost Her Arm

A 10-year-old girl was awarded upwards of $155,000 for a camel bite she received last year.

Madison Holland was visiting the Virginia Safari Park in Natural Bridge in order to attend the birthday party of a friend. They all piled into a hay-filled wagon and began to make their way through the safari.

Many animals reside in the park, including exotic specialties such as zebras, llamas and, of course, the camel involved in the attack.

Before the incident, Holland was excited to be able to see the animals. The hay-filled wagon was filled with food that the party-goers were allowed to use in order to feed any creature that walked up to them. The Cubic Lane reported that the Virginia Safari Park advertises that they “encourage interaction by allowing visitors to feed the animals.”

For whatever reason, Madison had decided not to take part in that particular activity. Instead, she simply watched the animals from her spot in the wagon. When a camel came over, she thought nothing of it, until it leaned down to take a furious bite of her arm.

As a direct result of the camel bite, Madison Holland left that birthday party and spent three days in the hospital. Although she was able to keep her arm, she will have a permanent scar to remember the vicious camel bite. What’s worse is that it might have been possible for her to need an amputation if the bite had been a little deeper.

Holland’s lawyer, Brooks Hundley, told The Guardian that the camel bite very nearly reached the child’s bone.

“Having a wild animal that is interacting with people, I think you would have to use an extra degree of care,” Hundley said, according to the Roanoke Times. “I can’t say what the animal’s thought process was, but the animal was probably upset that she wasn’t feeding him.”


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The family of the little girl pressed a complaint shortly after the incident and began court proceedings. This past Monday, a deal was finally reached between Virginia Safari Park and the Hollands, but the park refuses to admit to any liability for the camel bite the child suffered.

The insurance company for Virginia Safari Park indicated to the Roanoke Times that the settlement was simply a “good faith payment.”

Holland’s camel bite claim has led to a $155,000 agreed upon settlement, but the girl will get far more than $155,000 by the time she receives the entirety of the sum.

The settlement will continue to earn interest until Madison is 18-years-old. At that point, she will receive a $10,000 lump sum followed by $1,000 monthly payments that will start when she reaches her 21st birthday. Legal fees total $35,000 for the settlement, while upwards of $3,000 will go toward her medical bills. It’s likely that, due to interest, the camel bite will be paid for by nearly $190,000.

As reported by WSET, a camel bite is not the worst of Virginia Safari Park’s concerns. The park is also under investigation for animal cruelty.

This is not the only camel bite incident that has taken place in the past three months.

Back in May, the Times of India reported an incident where a camel bite severed the head of the owner.

According to the publication, the owner had left the camel out in the heat for an entire day with its legs tied. When he remembered and went out to untie the camel, it took a bite of his neck, lifted him up and then threw him on the ground before chewing at him until his head was severed.

[Photo by Piotr Sikora/Shutterstock]