ZANESVILLE, Ohio — The woman’s voice sounded a little annoyed. “There’s a bear and a lion out,” she told the 911 operator on Tuesday. “Right up behind us.” Come again? the operator said. “Yeah,” the caller replied. “They’re chasing Terry’s horses.”
Link: New York Times
Ohio has some of the nation's loosest laws concerning exotic animals, and after the tragedy in Zanesville Wednesday, those laws are under even greater scrutiny from animal-rights activists and the press. So is Gov. John Kasich, the Republican serving the first year of his first term, who declined to extend a policy that would have shut down Terry Thompson's farm.
Born Free USA was out in force Wednesday when news about the exotic animals incident in central Ohio — in which dozens of wildlife who had been held captive in a rural resident’s backyard were impetuously released by their suicidal captor, then mostly shot dead by law enforcement officers — dominated the news cycle. Among the many interviews with print, radio and TV journalists by Born Free USA representatives was Executive Vice President Adam M. Roberts’ appearance on CNN with Erin Burnett. Watch as Roberts stands toe-to-toe with another Ohio man who has a long history of exploiting exotic animals by presenting them as caged tourist attractions. Read, hear and see us also on ABC, Agence France-Presse/Yahoo! News, BBC, CNN Opinion, the Los Angeles Times and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
This week's incident involving escaped exotic animals in Ohio is a call to action against private possession of wildlife. Our chief executive officer, Will Travers, calls it a "horrific situation" that should "serve as a brutal reminder that wildlife belong in the wild and that no one should ever put the animals or the public at risk by trying to confine them in a zoo, circus, backyard or home, where serious injury or death can occur at any time." Born Free USA tracks such cases through its online database, which lists some 1,600 attacks and incidents reported nationwide. Please consider helping us in our multifaceted efforts to ban the private ownership of exotics by making a generous donation today.
Monkey, a 3-year-old baboon who had been living in a basement laundry room in Wisconsin, is the newest resident of Born Free USA's Primate Sanctuary near Dilley, Texas. He joins 13 other baboons in a 2.5-acre enclosure at the 186-acre sanctuary, home to 532 primates, many of whom were rescued from laboratories, roadside zoos and private possession. Read more about Monkey (who soon will have a new, more baboon-appropriate name!), see his photo gallery and watch the video of his arrival.
The case of an Ohio man who set loose his collection of wild bears, lions, tigers and other beasts before apparently killing himself has animal-welfare organizations renewing their call for a clampdown on ownership of exotic animals. “Exotic, dangerous animals simply do not belong in private hands. It’s not worth the risk,” said Adam Roberts, executive vice president of Born Free USA.
Police in Vietnam say a circus elephant has trampled to death a girl who sneaked into a yard to feed it. Police officer Pham Ngoc Tien of Lao Cai province in the north says the elephant was part of a troupe from Hanoi on a 10-day tour of the province. He says the elephant was tied to a chain in the fenced backyard of a cultural center when it was not performing.
Starting Monday, Nov. 7, and through that week, Born Free USA will auction off some of the eco-friendly clothing, shoes and accessories donated for our fffashion L.A. show. This is an excellent opportunity to get great deals on stylish designer clothing and accessories and, at the same time, help Keep Wildlife in the Wild®. All proceeds will support Born Free USA's work to save the lives of fur-bearing animals everywhere. Check out what we will have up for bidding by visiting our auction site.