Teen bitten by wolf-dog hybrid during school demo

June 8, 2010 12:15:27 PM PDT
A teen at Terra Linda High School suffered a minor abrasion on his hand on Friday when he was bitten by a hybrid wolf-dog at the end of a demonstration in his biology class, said Terra Linda Principal Lars Christensen.

The 15-year-old student did not require stitches, and returned to school later that day.

The incident occurred on the school's soccer field, where a biology teacher was giving the students an opportunity to see a live wolf-dog hybrid as part of an ecology unit in the class. The students were learning about the reintroduction of wolves to Yellowstone National Park.

A biology teacher had asked the assistant principal, Chris Cerbone, to bring in his two seven-year-old hybrid wolf-dogs for the demonstration, Christensen said.

Cerbone went to school at the University of Wyoming where he majored in wildlife science and adopted a brother and sister wolf-dog hybrid pair when they were about six weeks old after they had been confiscated from an illegal hybrid breeding facility in Texas.

Before bringing the dogs to school, Cerbone provided the school with proof that the animals had all of their proper vaccinations, Christensen said.

On Friday, a mix of primarily freshmen and some sophomore students sat in the bleachers while Cerbone went through his lecture with the animals leashed on the soccer field. Afterward, a few select students were allowed to approach the dogs.

One of the two hybrid animals got spooked when all of the students got up to leave at once when the bell rang at the end of the class and snapped at one of the students, Christensen said.

"The poor thing got scared, and did what dogs do when they scared," Christensen said.

Christensen said that the school immediately sent the student to the hospital and notified his parents. The student did not end up needing stitches.

"We take it very seriously," Christensen said. "But at the same time, it is literally an abrasion."

After the bite, Cerbone had the animals checked out with animal control in Sonoma County, where he lives.


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