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Camel escapes, attacks man in Southern California

PALMDALE, Calif. (AP) — A camel escaped from an enclosure in a Southern California high desert community Friday, stomped a 72-year-old man who tried to capture it, and chased other people before it calmed down and was corralled.

The camel escaped in the unincorporated community of Acton and was reported chasing cars shortly after 8:30 a.m., Los Angeles County sheriff's officials said. "My dad ... tried to catch it and it must have cornered him or something, and it took off after him, bit him on the head and knocked him down and stomped on him," Skylar Dossenbach told KCBS-TV. "He crawled under something and the camel tried to pull him out from under it."

Her father was hospitalized and needed stitches for a gash to his head, she said. His name wasn't immediately released. "A neighbor came out and saw the commotion and got the camel away from him," Dossenbach told KABC-TV. "And the camel actually started chasing them, and they had to jump in a car, and the camel was running around after everybody."

Dossenbach said she finally ended up capturing the camel. "I just put a halter on him, fed him a treat and he calmly walked down to my round pen and I corralled him," she said. The camel was seized by animal control officials because the owner does not have a permit and because of the injury, agency spokeswoman Betsy Webster said.

The owner could be cited for endangering residents, sheriff's officials said. Dossenbach said the camel and other animals, including a buffalo and an ostrich, previously escaped from the owner's property, which she described as a zoo. There have been as many as five escapes this year, she said.

Dossenbach said she believed no one lives on the property but a caretaker comes by daily to feed and water the animals.

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