Ohio Animal Massacre Avoidable

By Michael Kaminsky

Killed in the shootings were 18 Bengal tigers (similar to the tiger pictured), nine male lions; eight lionesses; one baboon; three mountain lions; two wolves; six black bears; and two grizzly bears, an Ohio sheriff confirmed Thursday.

(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



  1. The animals that were killed were dangerous and unpredictable. The decision taken was the best option. Perhaps Global Animal should have gone in and called "here kitty kitty" and gently patted the lions and tigers WHILE THEY WERE BEEING EATEN! GROW UP

  2. It was a very sad and unfortunate thing that happened to not only these exotic animals, but also the Sherrif Deputies who were put in the circumstance of having to shoot them. However; I think that most people would feel differently about killing these animals if it would have occurred in their hometowns, in close proximity to their children and other loved ones. "Wild animals", domesticated or otherwise, are none-the-less still wild and should be left alone. No one should be able to own these animals. They are NOT pets. If people would stop trying to make them something that they are not, this type of thing would be very minimal.

  3. @ Pam

    Ye I love when people make no statement or anything, they just ask a bunch of questions thats only point is to try and discredit the article. spend more time thinking about what was said and the facts, and less time thinking solely about how to discredit an article using “cheap parlor tricks” Yes… most of us have taken a college English class and know the tricks of proving a point….. You put the one line about feeling bad at the beginning in, just to try and disguise the inner troll.

    The fact that all of these animals were killed in such a short period in the middle of night, is insane and a case and point of how avoidable it all was!!!!! 18 Bengal tigers an “Apex Predator” killed in such a short period in the NIGHT!!!! The truth is these exotic animals were slaughtered by savage monsters Gunned down a baboon?!?!?

    bottle fed…many of them declawed… Im ashamed of my country.

    The bodies being buried soo quickly without any regard for examining or anything under the guise of keeping residents from stealing them. This is rediculous. Make no mistake in other countries people would be punished for this!!!!

    A day of shame that the whole planet must suffer.

    The Ohio Massacre