Do you see that picture above?! Among those animals you see lying, dead, on the ground are bears, monkeys, lions and rare Bengal tigers.
What happened here to cause such a horrible scene?
Terry Thompson, the owner of a wildlife preserve in Zanesville, Ohio, had released his brood of exotic animals and then shot himself. Officers were forced to gun down the animals as “these animals were on the move and were showing aggressive behavior,” said Muskingum County Sheriff Matt Lutz. After everything was over, 49 animals – 18 rare Bengal tigers, 17 lions, 6 black bears, 2 grizzly bears, 3 mountain lions, 2 wolves and 1 baboon – were slaughtered. According to ABC News, Jack Hanna, wildlife expert, ‘said it was especially heartbreaking to see so many Bengal tigers killed when they are on the verge of extinction’.
While this tragedy is unbelievable, and a macaque monkey is still on the loose, it was a lucky day for 6 of the animals – 1 grizzly bear, 3 leopards and 2 monkeys – as Terry Thompson never released them from their cage and they were still found there. They are being taken to the Columbus Zoo.
Read and watch the full story here.
My mother brought this incident to my attention and it absolutely pissed me off. First, it upset me on how little laws Ohio has pertaining to keeping wild and exotic animals as pets. Second, and most importantly, while the officers and everyone involved said there was no other way than to kill these animals, there really had to be another option.
The photo above isn’t even the worse. This is the worst:
How, after everything that these animals had been through – being killed and I guess their owner Terry Thompson abused them – could the officers just throw their bodies on top of one another like that. Also, if you watch the video, you see a few of the carcasses being dragged behind a tractor and even though they are going to be “buried”, these animals are special beings and deserve to be treated with more respect.
Another thing that upset me to high heavens was the fact that, if you read the article it explains how a vet tried to tranquilize one tiger and, according to the article, the tiger ‘”just went crazy” and started to run, so officers were forced to shoot it with lethal ammunition’. Why, after one try, did they give up and just kill it? Maybe the tranquilizer wasn’t strong enough – a tiger is a big animal – so why didn’t they get stronger tranquilizers?. Why didn’t they try the amount of tranquilizers they had on the smaller animals such as the wolves and monkeys, instead of killing them right away?
The whole thing seems absolutely surreal to me and the fact that there was no other option than to kill these animals is unbelievable.
While the 49 animals, including already endangered species, were killed, there is something we can do to prevent this “situation” from happening in the future. Whether you’re an Ohio resident or not, visit this site and demand that action be taken to prevent the ownership and sales of exotic animals.
We must not let the above majestic animals die in vain.
*Note: Click on the links above to find out more info and to see my sources. The pictures above were taken from Google Images. The thoughts and words above are my own: © Kalie Lyn, 2011.