This Article is About
exotic animals
animal rights groups
bengal tigers
jack hanna
Exotic Animals Killed: Did Ohio Deputies Have A Choice In The Situation?
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Columbus Zoo Director Emeritius, Jack Hanna was in Zanesville, Ohio for one of the most heart wrenching days of his life, a day that he told reporters would haunt him for the rest of his life. On this day, in this town, almost fifty exotic animals, including eighteen Bengal tigers were killed by Sherrif's deputies. The tragic situation, an ongoing issue that has plagued county and state officials for years, was made worse by the loss of those tigers, considered on the verge of being extinct.

The animals had been owned by Terry Thompson, a man who has a lengthy history of animal cruelty investigations and one conviction. That conviction, in 2005, stemmed from allowing animals to roam free and rendering animal waste without a license. Humane Officer David Durst had dealt with Thompson many times over the years, each time having to bring deputies with him every time for his own protection.

Thompson spent a year in prison for illegal firearms charges, leaving his wife to care for the animals in his absence. Questions are arising from the case, including why the animals were not removed while Thompson was incarcerated and unable to hamper the attempts. According to the Humane Society, however, an emergency order that would have allowed for the animals to be removed from Thompson's property legally expired in April. Animal Rights groups are pushing for a new, emergency order to be signed to prevent this from happening while waiting for new and more strigent laws to be enacted.

Thompson had only been out of prison briefly when his life spiraled out of his control. He and his wife were estranged, the cost of keeping the animals was extreme and he could no longer take it. After years of threatening to do so, Thompson released all of the animals on his property, cutting cage doors and opening others and then opened his gates to let them roam free. Once all of the animals had been released, Thompson shot himself. Deputies would later reveal that his body had been attacked by some of the animals.

Dozens of 911 calls came in from frantic people in the area saying that they were seeing lions on the roadways. Deputies arrived on the scene to find the wild animals loose and attacking horses. One animal was tranquilized at the scene but it failed and the animal had to be shot and killed. Jack Hanna also explained to the media that in the situation, there was nothing to be done but to kill all of the animals for the safety of the area. Schools were closed and people were ordered to stay indoors for safety.


Street Talk

The pictures from the aftermath were awful. Such a terrible situation. :(

Reply
  about 8 years ago

I totally agree with you! To see those once majestic and proud animals stacked like cord wood was enough to make me sick to my stomach.

Reply
  about 8 years ago
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