Lions, Tigers and Bears!


By Lisa Pezzolla

Last week it was shockingly reported that 49 exotic animals were shot and killed by law enforcement officials in Zanesville, Ohio.  There were nine male lions, eight lionesses, six black bears, three mountain lions, two grizzlies, two wolves, one baboon . . . and 18 Bengal tigers.
When I first heard about it, I thought it was a zoo, not a private farm. The owner Terry Thompson committed suicide after opening the cages of all his exotic pets.
Ohio has some of the most lax regulations of exotic animals in the country. Hopefully, after this tragedy Ohio will consider cracking down on the ownership of exotic animals as pets.
Where was Thompson getting the money to purchase these animals? Where was he importing them from?
These creatures belong in the wild, not in some backyard, chained, defanged and declawed, where it is impossible to give them the proper care that they need. This was a sad life and it is unfortunate that it has ended with the loss of life — pets and owner.
It seems to be easy to purchase exotic animals over the Internet or via classified ads in animal magazines. My girlfriend recently went through hell and high water to adopt a dog in New Jersey; meanwhile, exotic animals are being bought as pets. These cuddly animals grow up to be wild animals and that is where they belong — in the wild.
Zoos and sanctuaries are turning them away; funds are not available to care for them and people who are purchasing them are not watching them growing in size and in appetite.
They belong in the wild!

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