Imagine waking up and finding a wild Tiger roaming around outside on your front lawn. Such occurrences are something that many of us might only see in the movies. Unfortunately, similar scenes played out at the doorstep of Ohio residents who faced concerns about encounters with any of the 56 exotic animals released this week by a suicidal farm owner in Zanesville who reportedly could no longer care for them.
Local authorities shot and killed 49 of these animals, including lions, tigers and bears while prompting legislature around the country and even actors such as Leonardo DiCaprio to urge more citizens to support wildlife conservation efforts and the enforcement of more laws restricting private ownership of exotic animals.
According to CNN, the Ohio farm owner provided a wild cub for model Heidi Klum. The ease of buying exotic animals from private owners is a prime example of how the cute little Tiger cub grows into a 300-pound Big Cat who has, as Kari Bagnall of Jungle Friends Primate Sanctuary says, “chewed up the neighbor or escaped a few times.”
Thanks to Leonardo DiCaprio, I became more familiar with the actions of the World Wildlife Fund to raise awareness of strict laws on the exotic animal trade and wild animal ownership as pets via their Save Tigers Now campaign but it wasn’t until learning more about the charitable efforts of “Drive” actor Ryan Gosling that I learned how much PETA provides information on the conservation of wildlife and the dangers of keeping wild animals as pets.
I always considered PETA to be nothing more than an anti-leather and pro-vegetarianism group that works to stop animal cruelty. I didn’t know that this organization does highlight exotic animals among their many initiatives to protect both the animals and the public at large from harm.
In early September, Ryan Gosling made headlines after sending a letter to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, condemning their approval of slaughterhouse practices for euthanizing chickens and turkeys. While Ryan Gosling saves these birds, I’ll be adding PETA to my list of non-profit organizations to support, on behalf of those lions, tigers and bears that died this week as well as the rest who live God-knows-where across the nation on private properties as if they were domesticated animals like small cats and dogs.
AOL reported a neighbor who has children saying that she has heard a lion roar all night over the years of living near the animal farm. Now I don't know about any of you all reading this post right, but her experience surely beats anybody else's complaint about barking dogs, crying babies or other nuisances that are so minor when compared to that of exotic animals that a neighbor are keeping as pets.
Do YOU know what the laws of private exotic animal ownership are in YOUR area?
Do YOU really know how many exotic animals are living in your town or city?
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