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View Full Version : Wild animals escape a preserve in Ohio, had to be killed



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Vash01
10-19-2011, 05:37 PM
This sounds horrifying. Many tigers, lions, bears, wolves, cheetas escaped an animal preserve in eastern Ohio. The owner was found dead, and the animal cages were open. The fences were unsecured. Police are investigating. Schools are closed and motorists are cautioned to stay inside their vehicles.

Sadly, many of the escaped animals had to be shot and killed.:(

http://www.cnn.com/2011/10/19/us/ohio-animals-on-loose/index.html?hpt=hp_t1

FigureSpins
10-19-2011, 06:06 PM
I saw that in the paper this morning - how terrible for everyone, animals included.

I wonder how the owner died? The article specifically didn't say he was attacked by the animals, so I think a human killed him and all the open cages makes me think someone decided to free the creatures without thinking.

It would have been cruel to release the animals outside of their native habitat - of course animal control would be called to take down lions and tigers and bears in Ohio. (Okay, the bears probably could make it in the wilds of Ohio, but the chant was worth it.)


Edit: That link gave a much more complete picture, thanks. That poor man - he must have been troubled to set them free and then take his own life. I was pleased to see Jack Hanna's name in the news; I didn't know he was from that area and still active.

numbers123
10-19-2011, 06:07 PM
It is reported that the man who owned the wild preserve died of self inflicted wounds.

skatingfan5
10-19-2011, 06:11 PM
I saw that in the paper this morning - how terrible for everyone, animals included. A local zoo was called in later to try to capture some of the animals by the use of tranquilizer guns, but the immediate response was by local law enforcement officials, one of whom was quoted as saying "Orders are shoot to kill." And at least 2/3 of the animals had already been killed at that time. :(
I wonder how the owner died? The article specifically didn't say he was attacked by the animals, so I think a human killed him and all the open cages makes me think someone decided to free the creatures without thinking.The reports I saw on the news this morning were saying that it looked like an apparent suicide by the owner.

FigureSpins
10-19-2011, 06:13 PM
The newspaper probably had the first report, which was very brief. That's the advantage of the internet - you can get more information as it becomes available. Still, it's such a sad story.

The ASPCA is saying the animals were like pets to him, although he had several run ins with the law regarding his collection. Poor creatures - they were just being themselves, chasing horses and hunting. If he hadn't hoarded them for himself, they could have had lived better and longer.

PDilemma
10-19-2011, 06:21 PM
The ASPCA is saying the animals were like pets to him, although he had several run ins with the law regarding his collection. Poor creatures - they were just being themselves, chasing horses and hunting. If he hadn't hoarded them for himself, they could have had lived better and longer.

He was cited several times for abuse and neglect, and Jack Hanna and other Columbus Zoo officials who went there to care for the animals still caged in the house reported that the conditions were deplorable. Doesn't sound like caring for them as pets to me.

On the press conference available on MSNBC.com, Hanna says that legislation is already in the works in Ohio to make it much more difficult to get and keep these kinds of animals privately. The process to pass new laws was already underway. Hopefully, this incident will speed it up.

Louis
10-19-2011, 06:24 PM
Shame on the State of Ohio for allowing a person with a criminal record, convictions of animal cruelty, and clear instability to maintain so many large and dangerous animals.

This is crazy on too many levels to enumerate.

Vash01
10-19-2011, 06:43 PM
Hopefully no human will be injured. I am very sad for those animals. :(

This has to be the ultimate abuse of the animals- leaving them out, just to get killed, and creating huge danger for the society.

IMO no private citizen should be allowed to own exotic animals. They belong either in the wilderness or in a zoo.

danceronice
10-19-2011, 06:46 PM
I wonder if some of the big cats especially were illegal anyway--if you have them you're supposed to get a USDA inspection, too...

And zoo recovery teams carry darts, but they also carry lethal weapons during escapes (usually 12 gauge loaded with slugs). The darts take a long time to work and are extremely dangerous (you can't use them if you're not 100% sure what you'll hit if you miss the animal-carfentenil will kill a human being even in trace doses, you have to double-glove to load the syringe, at our zoo only the full-fledged DEA-permit-holding vets could handle the darts and someone on the Dangerous Animal team had to be CPR certified in case a person got it on them and went into respiratory arrest) so in some capture situations you have to put the animal down instantly to save humans, you can't dart them and sit around waiting for it to work. I completely understand having the police (who can't legally use the dart guns anyway) just shoot.

And sadly most of the big cats would end up as display-only or in sanctuaries anyway. Hybrids aren't permitted in most breeding programs, especially the tigers, as most "pet" ones aren't a pure subspecies. So if zoos take them they're permanently contracepted. Our zoo got their two tigers from a USDA seizure that way. They were a bit neurotic, too--really not good especially at the start at just being tigers and not engaging in stereotypic captivity behaviors like pacing and staring and such. Had NO idea to how to behave with each other and would probably have gotten the snot beat out of them by mentally-normal tigers. They're really horrible, horrible pets and it's not good for them mentally.

PDilemma
10-19-2011, 06:50 PM
danceronice--Jack Hanna referenced exotic animal auctions taking place in Ohio on the part of the press conference I watched. Do you know anything about that? It sounded like they still don't have legislation to stop it, not even pending.

This whole situation is frightening. I have a ton of family that lives very near that area.

Anita18
10-19-2011, 07:01 PM
He was cited several times for abuse and neglect, and Jack Hanna and other Columbus Zoo officials who went there to care for the animals still caged in the house reported that the conditions were deplorable. Doesn't sound like caring for them as pets to me.

On the press conference available on MSNBC.com, Hanna says that legislation is already in the works in Ohio to make it much more difficult to get and keep these kinds of animals privately. The process to pass new laws was already underway. Hopefully, this incident will speed it up.
:(

My mom volunteers at a tiny city zoo, and they often receive animals from private citizens who think they can keep a baby animal and rear it as a pet. The most famous example was a black bear whom a father and son picked up as a cub and raised like a human daughter, even feeding her Mountain Dew. :o Luckily the authorities got there while the bear was still young and now she's living a more bear-ish life in the zoo. The father and son are still trying to get the bear back by promising to build a sanctuary or something, but it's highly unlikely that they will. :o

Their most recent acquisition was a baby deer whom a family kept after they inadvertently scared the mother away. The deer quickly got too large to handle (she still is quite small for a deer, although definitely large for a dog :lol: ) and they relinquished her to the zoo. My mom reported that the baby deer doesn't even know she's a deer and tries to jump on people like a dog. :lol: She's concerned that she might not get along with the other deer in the zoo, but the deer's still young...

My mom sent me pics of the baby deer and she is just too precious. I wrote back that I would have taken that home with me too. :rofl:

Prancer
10-19-2011, 07:09 PM
danceronice--Jack Hanna referenced exotic animal auctions taking place in Ohio on the part of the press conference I watched. Do you know anything about that? It sounded like they still don't have legislation to stop it, not even pending.

Ohio does indeed have exotic animal auctions and extremely loose laws about exotic animal ownership.

Before leaving office, former governor Ted Strickland signed a law banning the owning of exotic animals as pets, but current governor John Kasich apparently ordered that the ban not be enforced. There are, however, a lot of small private zoos/sanctuaries/preserves/what have you that don't fall under the "pet" law, anyway.

When I first saw the headline, I thought for sure I was going to read about a place where one of sisters-in-law volunteers :slinkaway.

danceronice
10-19-2011, 08:30 PM
I just saw SOMETHING about an emergency ban, but it's nuts.

What I don't get...why would you WANT to own any of these animals? They're kind of cool. I would love to pet a cheetah in controled circumstanced (they're the most "tameable" off big cats) but...they're colossally expensive to feed, they're dangerous (even ones you don't think of as life-threatening), you cannot begin to have enough resources to keep them sane and happy...go to the zoo or something.

One of my coworkers said she had heard this owner's wife left him, and the animals were her thing, so turning them loose and killing himself was some kind of way of getting back at her?

aliceanne
10-19-2011, 08:38 PM
Where does one get the money to buy and maintain that many animals? Even if the care was substandard.

BittyBug
10-19-2011, 08:58 PM
This has to be the ultimate abuse of the animals- leaving them out, just to get killed, and creating huge danger for the society.

IMO no private citizen should be allowed to own exotic animals. They belong either in the wilderness or in a zoo.^^ This.