This story captured my attention since the moment I heard about it (Not the Heidi Klum part):
First thought: How did this happen?
Following when I first heard about these animals in OH, I found out that their ‘caretaker’ actually released them from their pens before taking his own life. And that the animals had been living in horrible conditions. And that they were being fed rotten food. Oh, and that some of the species he had were endangered.
Second thought: Selfish.
I understand that this man was mentally troubled (all the more reason for him to not be anywhere near these animals), but here is why he was selfish: These animals, after being captive for so long, would have had NO idea how to live in the wild on their own. How could they when their wildness had been stripped away from them by this man (and those who sold them to him)? He claimed to love these animals, how could he, when he took away what makes them what they are?
What I am wondering is how he was allowed to keep these animals when he had already been convicted (no joke) of animal cruelty charges before. That coupled with the fact that officers were frequently at his property regarded complaints about his animals being out, and the conditions they were in (Like a concentration camp for Grizzly Bears.. no I havent seen pictures, but I dont think I’m that far off).
Third thought: I love Jack.
Jack Hanna, one of my long time heroes (if you dont know him, you should), spoke out with reasoning to why the animals had to be disposed of. I agree with him, tragic as their deaths may be.
The laws in Ohio concerned exotic animals obviously need change. Personally, I don’t think anyone should own an animal like a Grizzly Bear or a Bengal Tiger, or a baboon, or a cheetah, you get the idea. These animals are meant to be free, not to be caged.
Now please understand, this is not an anti- zoo, or anti-animal preserve rant. I love zoos, and preserves, and the work that they do to help preserve animals in the wild through their various breeding and educational programs. I myself have learned a lot from them. But these people are professionals, they’re trained, and they’re passionate about the work they do. This is more of a call to action on the part of Ohio (oh heck, lets just make it nation wide) lawmakers to make sure that this never ever happens again.
Probably the most tragic thing to me, is that this massacre could have been avoided. If one is convicted of animal cruelty charges, then one should not be allowed to own endangered species. (Can I get an amen?!) . Also the OH government (local and state) should have stepped up and said “oh, this guy has 56 exotic animals, maybe we should make sure the animals have proper living conditions” And oh maybe; whether he’s mentally stable or not? (Duh). If someone had taken a stand and shut this ‘preserve’ down, those 56 Tigers, Lions, and Bears would still be alive right now.
Final thought: God told Adam to take care of the animals of the earth
Who are we as human beings if we ignore what is obviously cruel to animals? If we can ignore cruelty right outside our door, what else are we ignoring?
Brown dog and I had a talk about this issue. He says that if the Tigers had been in a shelter like he was, then someone who actually loved them would’ve given them the home (or jungle) they deserved. (Also that he wants Tiger stripes)
Peace, Love, and Tigers