Thursday, October 20, 2011
Exotic Animal Massacre in Zanesville, Ohio
Tragedy struck the town of Zanesville, Ohio, Tuesday October 18th. The owner of Muskingum County Animal Farm, Terry Thompson opened the cages to 56 of his rare animals, then committed suicide, by shooting himself. Amongst the animals released were Tigers, Lions, Bears, Mountain Lions, Wolves, Monkeys, and a Baboon. The animals roamed through and around the town of Zanesville, Ohio. The police lead a massacre of these exotic animals. Of the 56 animals that were freed, police slaughtered 49. One of the most disturbing pieces of information I found, was that around thirty of these animals were massacred right on the grounds of the farm, many of which were trying to get back into their cages. This is a horrible tragedy, that should have been handled differently. The massacre included 18 rare and endangered Bengal Tigers. Conservationists say there are only around 3200 Bengal Tigers left in the whole world, half of which live in zoo's. Also among the 49 animals that were massacred was 17 Lions, 6 Black Bears, 2 Grizzly Bears, 3 Mountain Lions, 2 Wolves, and a Baboon. A Macaque Monkey is still missing, and believed to be infected with the Herpes B virus. In humans this form of the virus can lead to severe brain infections. Schools were closed, and motorist were warned of the situation by road signs. As if this story couldn't get any crazier, several people were arrested for attempting to steal the carcass of a lion. The only good news from this story is that 6 animals were still in there cages. These animals consist of a Grizzly Bear, 3 Leopards, and 2 Monkeys. These remaining six will be moved to the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. This will be facilitated by animal advocate Jack Hanna. Hanna is the Director Emeritus of the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. Owner of the farm Terry Thompson had recently got out of prison, after serving one year, for federal weapons charges. Thompson had also been convicted of animal cruelty, and animals at large in 2005. There needs to be new legislation to prevent people like this from working with this caliber of animals. Ohio is among ten states that have the weakest restrictions on exotic animal ownership. This makes Ohio a cesspool, for exotic animal traders.