I’m literally outraged by this situation! It could have been prevented 100% and instead this terrible tragedy ensued and over 45 exotic animals died. Personal bias aside, I can see why someone would want to keep exotic animals, there is a mystery and a lure to owning them, as well as excitement – hell, I want to own an African Lion – they’re so cute and look so cuddly. BUT I think the difference is wanting one vs actually owning one and common sense should tell people that owning a Lion is not such a good idea. When you weigh the pros and cons of this situation I believe cons definitely over rule the pros – based on the sole fact that these animals in particular are exotic and majority of them are going extinct! A huge project I’m working on here at Nat Geo is The Big Cats Initiative, which works to help preserve the remaining few big cats left in the world, including African lions, mountain lions, and Bengal tigers – and more than 2 dozen of these animals died in this event – not very promising results for the work we are doing at Nat Geo and around the world.
Here’s my biggest issue though, this man was cited numerous times for neglecting his animals, abusing his animals, and for having his animals at large, yet no one stepped in to do anything. Unfortunately, Ohio is a state that allows exotic pets – but it makes you wonder should exotic pets be allowed at all?!?! I’m opening up a simple poll to see if others feel the way I do. I think it’s an interesting topic and definitely one that needs more public attention. So I guess the positive coming out of this situation is that we can enforce some stricter laws to prevent this from ever happening again in the future – or so we hope.