The world was stunned on Wed. when news from a small town in the U.S. broke. Zanesville, OH had all eyes on it as the story unfolded of a very tragic situation. A distraught man named Terry Thompson had taken his own life on Tues. But it was what he did right before killing himself that shocked the world and terrified local residents.
Terry Thompson was the rightful owner of 56 exotic animals on a farm right outside of Zanesville. By the use of the word rightful, he had obtained all the permits that were necessary to keep these wild animals on his property. But the question of whether it was ethically right and also not a major safety concern to keep a very large number of dangerous and wild carnivores penned up in cages to live out their lives had not been addressed. His menagerie including lions, rare bengal tigers, bears, wolves and even a baboon.

What was his motive to confine all these animals that should have lived lives of freedom in the wild may never be fully understood. And even less understood are the actions that he took on Tues. night. Terry Thompson was a Viet Nam vet and a gun advocate. He had recently spent time in prison and after returning home was facing financial problems and a pending divorce. All of these things probably played a large part in his setting all 56 animals loose from his property before taking his own life that night.

Sadly though, these beautiful and innocent animals also paid a huge price with their lives as the decision was made to shoot to kill them as the local sheriff's department struggled to contain the very dangerous situation. One of the animals had been shot with a tranquilizer dart at first but it had acted very aggressively and was then killed. When it was all over, 49 exotic and wild animals were also dead. Six had been captured and were taken to the Columbus Zoo near by.

This was a scenario that should have never been allowed to play out. Ohio has some of the most lax laws in the U.S. governing the ownership of wild and exotic animals. It is also a problem that is allowed in other states too. Wild animals are not meant to be kept as pets or collector items. It is cruel to keep these animals confined in pens their whole lives by people with questionable motives. These animals should be running free in the wild as nature had intended not in someone's back yard.

The fact that this is allowed in the U.S. also contributes to the cruel apprehension and trade methods that take place in capturing and shipping these animals to collectors across the U.S. It is time to put a stop to this now so that another tragedy like the one that took place in Zanesville, OH does not happen again. New legislation needs to be passed banning this type of ownership of wild and exotic animals. This needs to start in Ohio where the largest escape of wild animals just took place. Please take a moment to sign the petition below asking the governor of Ohio to take steps to immediately ban this practice.

Responses to "49 wild animals killed in an escape from an exotic animal farm in Ohio"

  1. Anonymous says:

    This is totally unacceptable.. These wild animals were slaughtered because of actions of insane man. They did not deserve this. Should be stricter regulations on these type of operations. This was time bomb and should be a wake up call to everyone. Shame on those who allowed this happen to these wonderful wild animals. Hoping this opens the eyes of those who should have been watching.

  2. Anonymous says:

    This is a tragedy. This man who owned these animals was greedy. All wild animals should live free. The responsibility lays on him before and after his death. These beautiful animals did not have to die. I heard that they tried to coax them into pens with food, but that didn't work (of course it didn't work, they were confined so long and now free). That man is the one who should take blame for all of this. No one should own a wild animal -- laws should be stricter and be enforced. It is cruel to the animal and the owners and others may pay the price with their lives. The only reason these animals were killed was because of the lives that could have been taken had they not been killed. It is a shame and I hope and pray it never happens again.

  3. Lauren4SA says:

    Ohio police killed the equivalent of 36% of China's wild tiger population.

  4. Anonymous says:

    please stop animal abuse this should never have happened animals have the right to live like we do to roam the earth in peace and harmony so please protect our animals they have to live and to survive like we do hope this never happens again its disgraceful and inhumane

  5. Little Feather says:

    This was a pathetic incident. No, these animal's should not have been in pen's or anywhere else except the wild, where they are suppose to be, and, where they can be FREE! All of these wonderous animal's now gone because of the STUPIDITY of a HUMAN. This man was out for revenge on someone or everyone...and, these beautiful creature's paid the price for it. Owning exotic animal's SHOULD be banned. Who has the right to OWN our animal brother's and sister's anyway? NO ONE! We SHARE the Earth Mother WITH them. I love our fur creature's, like most everyone else, and, there was NO reason for this to happen. I feel for the animal's...not the man who "owned" them. Those beautiful creature's had NO say-so in the outcome of their lives. This is truly, truly sad. My heart goes out to our animal brother's and sister's.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Every time I see this on the news, here, on the internet, my heart breaks. Those beautiful, magnificent animals should not have been slaughtered. I understand that the police did what they had to do, to ensure the safety of their community. I hope and pray, as each one of them that took aim and fired,had some sort of conscience about what they were doing. I lay total blame on Terry Thompson, for owning something he had no right owning, and then setting them free to be executed! He knew the consequences of his actions. I have to forgive him, hard as it is, because, really, he wasn't in a stable frame of mind. In his delusions, he may have been thinking that he was setting them free.Period. When a person commits suicide, are they really in their right mind? Please God, hold these animals in your heart.<3

  7. Anonymous says:

    I have always loved animals but to own large exotics is insane. and know one should have more than they can care for. I feel the killing of these large animals was necessary to preserve life of humans and by no means the fault of those who had the task . blame is that of a man at that point in his life was not thinking of anything but ending his own misery.May all the animals be at peace with the Lord of Heaven.

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