Sunday, August 13, 2006

Luv bite sends Paris Hilton to the doctor

Heiress, socialite, actress and now singer Paris Hilton on Tuesday found that keeping exotic pets is no child's play. Hilton was bitten by her pet kinkajou Baby Luv on her arm when she was playing with the animal.The incident occurred at 3 am Tuesday at Hilton's Los Angeles home when she was playing with the kinkajou 'the way some people play with their cats and dogs', her publicist Elliot Mintz said. At some point, the monkey got excited and bit Hilton on her left arm. “Baby Luv bit her. It's a superficial bite on her left arm,” Mintz said.The hotel heiress was then rushed to the hospital where after being checked for the bite, she was given a tetanus shot. “She was seen by a doctor, who treated the wound, gave her a tetanus shot, cleaned the wound and applied something to it,” said Mintz, who took the 25-year-old to the doctor.

Hilton bought Baby Luv last November from Las Vegas and brought him back to Los Angeles despite warnings by California Department of Fish and Game. “People see these kinds of animals on TV and think they're so cute and playful and harmless. In fact, they can be deadly. It's a lose-lose situation. They are extremely difficult to handle, extremely difficult to properly care for, and it's bad for the animal and usually bad for the person,” said Patrick Foy, a spokesman for the department.Earlier, Hilton has come under fire from People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) for carrying around her pets as accessories.

“The problem, with Paris and others buying trendy and small, high-maintenance animals and using them as accessories, is that it helps perpetuate the cruel trade in exotic animals. She probably takes very good care of them because she can, but kinkajous, chinchillas and other pocket pets, even smaller dogs, are not to be picked up and taken down the red carpet,” said Lisa Lange, a spokesperson for PETA.But Mintz defended Hilton with, “I don't view kinkajous as aggressive animals. The same kind of thing could have occurred with a German Shepherd.” Baby Luv was also taken to a veterinarian on Wednesday. Hilton's arm appeared all right the next day and she proceeded to shoot promos for her debut album Paris. “Yesterday she did two photo shoots and two magazine covers,” Mintz said. The album that sports the song Stars Are Blind, which has secured a place in the Billboard charts, will be released towards end August.

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