By Michael Kaminsky
(ANIMAL MASSACRE) ZANESVILLE, OHIO — Much has been written about the 55 domesticated wild animals that were killed yesterday after ‘animal lover’ Terry Thompson let loose his extensive collection of tigers, lions, bears, leopards, wolves, and monkeys – after which he took his own life.
This tragedy was compounded by Muskingum County Sheriff Matt Lutz, who with the aid of Jack Hanna, Director Emeritus of the Columbus Zoo, made the decision to immediately kill the animals.
Farmland with wild animals, some declawed, wandering around is a serious matter and a particular scenario for which no police officer in Zanesville, Ohio has ever been trained. Still, was the only alternative to kill all of the wild animals, including 18 rare Bengal tigers and 17 lions?
Why couldn’t the animals meet the same fate as the six who were spared, including three leopards, a grizzly bear, and two monkeys that were captured and taken back to the Columbus Zoo. Especially since the rare animals had been somewhat domesticated. Unfortunately the police opted to shoot first and ask questions later.
If the animals were such a threat, why were they so easily killed over the period of a few hours in the middle of the night? This points to the reality that they had been fed and cared for by humans and were thus acclimated. Most likely the killings were akin to a turkey shoot. A more animal-friendly route would have been to warn the sparsely populated residents of the surrounding farmland and order them to remain inside until the animals were tranquilized at daylight.
Although inconvenient, this could have saved many, if not all, of the now 48 dead animals. To kill animals that were already familiar with human contact is just another example of human insensitivity toward ‘inconvenient’ animals that have done nothing wrong by their mere existence.
The fact that police were able to locate and kill a majority of the animals indicates that it wouldn’t have taken much longer had they waited for tranquilizer guns.
Global Animal is saddened and appalled at the fate of these double victims — first in their captivity, then in their impulsive slaughter. We hope it will lead to stricter laws concerning ‘personal zoos’ of exotic animals and better training for future incidents. — Global Animal