updated 3/1/2010 12:39:23 PM ET 2010-03-01T17:39:23

An eastern Pennsylvania man was attacked and killed by a "temperamental" pet bull a day before his 53rd birthday, the coroner's office said Monday.

Ricky Weinhold was attacked Saturday by a one-ton bull on a farm where he leased barn space in Wernersville, about 60 miles northwest of Philadelphia, Berks County Deputy Coroner Terri Straka said. The son of the farm's owner found his body Sunday in an outdoor pen.

The property owners had encouraged Weinhold to get rid of the bull, Straka said. She said the same animal believed responsible for the weekend attack rammed Weinhold last summer, breaking several of his ribs.

"He's been known to be temperamental," Straka said. "The property owners just didn't trust him. They told Ricky, 'This bull has got a bad disposition.'"

Weinhold kept about 10 head of cattle at the farm, all of them as pets. Straka said it's not clear what precipitated Saturday's attack. The bull recently fathered a calf, but Straka said bulls are not as protective of their offspring as cows.

"We don't know if this is a playful thing, or a nasty, agitated, angry thing," she said.

No one witnessed the attack. All of Weinhold's injuries appear to have been inflicted by a bull's head and hooves.

"The poor man, he loved his animals," Straka said. "They were his pets."

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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