Thursday, October 20, 2011

My rant on the Ohio exotic animal tragedy

WARNING: Images below may be unsuitable for some viewers.

Photo courtesy of LA Times

I know most of my posts are light and fun but I am really upset about a story all over the news yesterday.  I apologize in advance if any of my language offends you.

I will start with the preface that I didn't go and research all the laws and what not.  I am going to go off what I heard on the news, although they have left some stuff out too.  So, if something is not true, please correct me.

I am sure most of you heard about the tragedy in Ohio.  Many wouldn't describe it as a tragedy but if Michael Vick's debacle was a tragedy than so is this.  Some douche had 56 dangerous exotic animals at his property.  Yesterday, he let them all loose and then shot himself.  Law enforcement shot and killed all but 6 of those animals.  I think a monkey is still on the loose or they are also saying one of the animals may have eaten it.

Here is why I am pissed.  Yes, pissed and sad. 

First, I don't think ANYONE should be allowed to keep dangerous exotic animals.  Half the zoos I visit don't even have sufficient "cages" for the animals.  How can the average person properly care for a tiger or bear?  They can't!  Yes, there are some really RICH people in Vegas who have acres and train their tigers. Even he was mauled by one of them.  I guess I am more okay with those as they have LOTS of room, are raised from babies (I think) and trained.  Anyhow, the average person should NOT be allowed to keep these animals.  I guess I would go with the standpoint that if it is legal, it should be VERY regulated. Although I am not sure who in government can determine what is proper care and space for say, a bear.

Second, the law.  In April 2011, Ohio did not renew the law that prohibited people convicted of animal cruelty from owning exotics.  Ummm, anyone convicted of animal cruelty shouldn't be able to own ANY pets, in my opinion.  That's like letting a sex offender be the school janitor or worse, a babysitter.  There are 10 states that allow this and to be honest, I don't have any sympathy for the state and how much first responders cost when things like this happen.  If I were a citizen of one of these states I would raise of fuss on one of two grounds.  Animal welfare and taxes.  Yes, tax payers, your state is probably close to broke yet they had to spend all this money on a safari in your town.

Third, if the state isn't going to have any laws against residents keeping dangerous exotic animals, then they need to train the first responders on how to deal with it.  The local vet might not have tranquilizers that work on say, a tiger!  I understand they tried to tranquilize a few of these animals but it didn't work.  You know why, because the state and local government hasn't given the responders the training or the equipment.  Listen, if they can tranquilize wild elephants in Africa, then I think there was a way to tranquilize these animals and move them.  I can see having to put a few down but all?  They were loose and scared which equals unpredictable. 

Result with plenty of blame to go around - Photo from

Remember that lady who was attacked at her friends house by her pet gorilla?  Come on now, I had horses and they were unpredictable enough.  I was kicked and bit numerous times over the years.  Animals are unpredictable, exotic or not.  My boyfriend had stitches in his lip after my cat got scared in the middle of the night. Whoops! 

Animals can't protect themselves or speak.  They rely on us to take proper care of them.  It is our responsibility and we don't do a good enough job with domestic animals, who needs to add dangerous and exotic animals to the mix.

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