Tuesday, Oct. 19. The weather today — gray, overcast with rain. The headline — Exotic Animals Roaming Ohio.
When I first heard the news late last night I was in shock. Shock that this is the second animal owner to die in Ohio in less than six months. As an animal owner myself, I can’t comprehend why a fellow animal owner would knowingly sentence their animals to death by turning them loose before killing himself.
This makes no sense, especially when you see the outpouring of animal owners in the state asking what they can do to save the animals. Open their facilities to accept these wonderful creatures and spare them execution, offer assistance and expertise to recapture them safely.
How dark and dreary the comments of the Columbus Zoo asking Gov. Kasich for an immediate ban on exotic animal ownership and to shut down sales of these animals through auction houses. According to ODNR-released meeting minutes, the zoo is in support of a total ban. Did they forget that some of their animals came from captive breed facilities?
I understand the decision made upon arrival to put down an animal that appears vicious, but these animals were out of their comfort zone. Most of them were captive bred and that was their home. In panic, they were running around. Sirens, gunshots, loud noises, would scare them. Most would have returned to their “home” but you do have to consider public safety. I’m thankful that no person was hurt, but I feel extreme sadness at the loss of animal life.
Some will say it would never have happened if they weren’t in that situation. Would you say the same thing to someone that lost a loved one to a drunk driver or to someone that lost a child due to violence? Would you blame the aggressor, the victim or the family?
Kasich, get the facts first before you put people out of jobs and sentence animals to death. This incident would have occurred even if the ban was left in place — it grandfathered current owners. I would believe it happened at the hands of animal extremists.
Legislation being written to unjustly label certain animals as “wild and dangerous” backed by animal rights activists, then the owner of a black bear that attacked his handler found dead in his home and now another owner found dead at his house and his animals set free. That all just seems to fit as a reason to push this legislation through.
No injuries or deaths to the public but let’s ban exotic animals? Well, next time a drunk driver kills someone or a parent kills their child, let’s ban alcohol and begin psychological testing of parents prior to childbirth and outlaw those that don’t fit the bill. What’s next, banning ownership of farm animals if you don’t have a barn big enough for everyone to fit in when it rains? Sounds exaggerated but truth is, we’re already headed there now and it’s raining.