Exotic animal escape in Ohio raises some red flags



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.

Keith Campbell

Frazeysburg, Ohio


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  1. You are making a strawman argument here between drunk driving and animal ownership. The fact is that exotic animals that are dangerous shouldn’t be living in private residences where they can endanger neighborhoods.

    • But it’s okay for drunk drivers to be on our streets and kill innocent people? It is not a strawman’s aurgument, it is the truth. Even HSUS can only find less 50 so called “incidents” in ohio in the past 50 years, most of those are unconfirmed media reports. How many drunk drivers have killed someone in the past 50 years in Ohio? How many innocent children have died at the hands of an abusive parent in the past 50 years?

      Responsible Animal ownership puts neither the animal nor the public in danger. No different than someone that chooses to stay home and get drunk, that is responsible. If you are going to ban people from owning animals and take away their right as Americans then we should also ban Bars, Pubs and all alcohol in public places because alcohol poses a danger to the public.

      Regardless of what they rule the death, you will not convince me that someone that cared about animals would willingly set them free knowing that there are places they could go. This entire thing reeks of foul play.

      Most if not all of the animals were captive breed, as were their parents and so on. These animals were not brought over from Africa, Russia but most likely came from private owners. The statement made to the media by Zoo officials is completly incorrect that “you can train a wild animal but you cannot tame one”. We domesticated dogs and cats through selective breeding, same thing is occuring today at private facilites all over the world in an effort to save them from extinction as humans continue to destroy the natural habitats and hunt them for sport.

      If not for the efforts of private breeders, whom the zoo has obtained animals from, some species would be extinct already. Even the US Fish and Wildlife commended the work of private facilities of keeping a pure bloodline for big cats that can, and is, being used to repopulate certain species.

      • “To “attack a straw man” is to create the illusion of having refuted a proposition by replacing it with a superficially similar yet unequivalent proposition (the “straw man”), and refuting it, without ever having actually refuted the original position.”

        That is the definition of a straw man argument. You are equating drunk driving and animal ownership which makes zero sense. You are saying “well if we prevent exotic animal ownership, we should prevent drinking because of drunk drivers” drinking/drunk driving in this case is the straw man.

        The fact remains that these wild animals aren’t meant to be kept as pets. They belong either in the wild, or in a zoo where there are the appropriate resources to ensure the animals safety and the safety of the community. 40+ animals died the other day because of outdated laws regarding exotic animal ownership. I believe this tragedy will result in tougher laws, which is a good thing for both communities and animals.

      • Makes perfect sense, drunk driving is irresonsible, the driver puts the safety of the public in danger, same argument you make with exotic animals. Some drunk drivers make it home fine, others take people’s lives, same argument you make against Exotic Animals. You don’t want an exotic animal in your neighborhood, I don’t want a drunk in mine. He/she might hurt one of my animals in his/her druken state and misjudge my drive lane for the road and crash into my containment area.

        You stated, “They belong either in the wild, or in a zoo where there are the appropriate resources to ensure the animals safety and the safety of the community.” Nice statement, too bad that for the 0 public deaths in the state of ohio due to exotic animals. That number alone means that private owners do take care of their animals and ensure public saftey. Actually, the Animal Welfare Act enforced by USDA means we owners get inspected routinly, without notice. And if we have native species of Ohio, we get ODNR inspections, native US Species – US Fish and Wildlife, livestock – Ohio Dept of Ag, and we have to have a vet on call for any emergency.

        And if you don’t like Drunk Driving, how about we compare Guns and Exotics, how about Prescription Drugs and Exotics. Statistics show you are more likely to be struck by lightening than attacked by a privately owned exotic animal.

  2. It’s not just animal rights activists who do not want bears and lions in the neighborhood. It’s people who want to want one less thing to worry about and do not enjoy watching animals or humans harmed when someone ill-equipped to care for exotic animals does something stupid. Kasich needs to step up to the plate and take some action. Now.

  3. These are wild animals and we as humans put them in these situations. They belong in the wild where they have come from. Not in cages or pens. But as humans we have been trying to domesticat wild animals forever. Along with this comes bad things. We have no one to blame but ourselves. What is a zoo other than a glorified animal farm. Kids pick up turtles and keep them in their houses. I am no animal rights person. I am theexact opposite. If you want to see a lion or a baboon…..go to Africa. You want to see a tiger go to India or russia. That is where these animals belong.

  4. I still don’t think this man let these animals loose then killed him self, i think animal rights extreamist were behind the whole thing to get the ban pushed through for HSUS! Yes it will be farm animals and pets next it is what the hsus is working towards!

  5. Why would a animal owner give is animals a death sentence By turn them loose I think animal rights extremist (PETA HSUS And there rest of them included ALF) Was behind this PETA is in Cleveland waving their flags. We all know what they will do I don’t believe think Terry kill him self I think the AR’s are behind this

  6. I agree I don’t think that Terry would have sentenced his animals to death. Animals that he loved and cared for EVEN THE SHERIFF said “they was cared for” unlike some zoo Experts from Columbus that want the total ban of animals so they can suck up more HSUS money. I knew Terry, his pens were clean and the animals cared for. I don’t understand why he did what he did if that is what happened. I know the Sheriff didn’t like him and the sheriff didn’t like exotic animals. I think the killing of the animal was a easy way to get rid of a problem. I think making it a suicide kills two birds with one stone no animals no Terry. Now he can push for a ban, something he wants. Even if Terry took his life I think he would have gave his animals to some one he knew, animal owners that would have cared for them. The Sheriff said more than one time he didn’t like Terry or his Animals. Let’s say Terry took his life how are we to know that the killing of the animals was not the intention of the Sheriff, he did state he gave the order to shoot to kill before arriving on the scene.

  7. If the AR’s get their way Ohio can become the new Russia take away all are rights hunting let them run are lifes I will stand up for my animals and mr jungle jack better be ready to fight

  8. I just spoke with the Office of Rep Debbie Phillips and I was informed that she fully supports HSUS and the banning of all animal sales, does not care if takes away family income. Also that all hunting, trapping and fishing should be ended immeaditly. She is introducing a bill today to ban ownership of all exotic animals within our State. Call her office now and protest 614-466-2158.

  9. Lets look at this this way. The law enforcement doing the investigating has changed the facts/story how many times? You have county/state officials that are anti animal. fact law enforcement trained personal see and would know medically what a suicide looks like and is. There are those type of people in any and all of the animal right groups. A “EXOTIC animal owner”, with a criminal past, had proven by vets the so called abused animal was not abused, AR people don’t want that public to know that. Is dead. Oh look PETA is giving money to anyone that reports abuse. Yet it was proven in Ohio court the dairy cows were abused by the AR, they paid the abusers so they could tape this. Cout saw the raw un edited tape and the edited tape. Were the abusers and the AR group that paid them charged, no, why. So that means that the groups that are ANTI ANIMAL such as HSUS, ALF, ASPCA, SPCA, and the others COULD have murdered and made it look like a suicide. Animal lovers/owners/so called horders will put the animals before themselves. They wouldn’t want their animal to be subjected to the all out law enforcement free for all big game hunt.
    Destroy cages, yea right, animals would be in a safe place for another person to find them since people are there helping everyday.
    OR that person would have destroyed the animals him/herself. What about the law enforcement doing their jobs when it comes to the AR groups comming on private property shooting, bringing their own dead animals onto our properties trying to do the same as the dairy farm making false tapes/reports. Some have been caught on camera and now the shootings startagain and they let animals loose/destroy property. Well where are you in bed with the AR groups, they must pay you well, because you suck in helping us the animal owner that follows all the rules and laws.
    Why dosen’t the AR groups that show the abuse tapes that they abused the animals to make them, tell the public that sends them the money that they either don’t give even a 1% of their income to shelters. Why don’t they tell the public they kill more animals than a kill shelter, when people send money. Oh ….that means bye bye easy money.
    Why are the simple minded, over educated, no common scense, dumber than a box of rocks, anti animal people get the offices where like Debbie Phillips, who is in bed with the HSUS and pushes, demands a law that is no profit from animals/no hunting, no etc. BYE BYE FARMER, BYE BYE FOOD (Oh yea bees a critter in the animal kingdom pollinats the plants, that is profit from animals!!!!) HELLO CHEMICAL PILL POPPING FOOD. Oh yea. SO lets just kill all the people under 21 so we will not have the child sex abusers/child killers and let the rest of us die from the drugs you are feeding us and then the non human world can live on. Animal Right Groups suck.

  10. I Live in Southeastern Ohio and I can tell you I was shocked when I called her office and was told she wants no one to profit from animals I think every farmer hunter fisherman trapper needs to VOTE HER OUT Rep Debbie Phillips she is peta all the way get her out of office

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