Camel falls in Nativity re-enactment

Dec. 12, 2010 at 11:22 AM
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PALM BEACH, Fla., Dec. 12 (UPI) -- A camel used in a Nativity scene fell into pews at a rehearsal of the First Baptist Church's Christmas show in Florida, but no one was injured, officials said.

Lula Bell, who weighs about 1,000 pounds, may have had a bum knee, forcing her to stumble, a pastor told The Palm Beach (Fla.) Post.

Neither the camel, nor its rider, Alex James, was injured in the accident, and the West Palm Beach church has decided not to use her in its upcoming Christmas production, said worship Pastor Chuck Lewis.

"Everybody's OK," Lewis said about Thursday's incident. "That's the most important thing."

The camel belongs to Citra, Fla.-based Animals in Motion, a company that trains animals for movies, private parties and other shows. It provided animals for the "Evan Almighty" movie.

Animals in Motion owner Timothy Rivers has been the target of animal welfare supporters, and he declined to comment on Lula Bell's fall.

In 2002 he plead guilty to illegally selling a pair of federally protected black leopards and was sentenced to six months in prison, the report said.

He was charged with animal cruelty, but not convicted, over a "high-diving mules" act.

"I don't know what's going on," Rivers told the newspaper. "I don't want to know what's going on over there," he said, before hanging up.

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