Big news this week is Terry Thompson and his exotic animal farm. For those of you who haven’t heard, Terry Thompson, owner of an exotic animal farm in Zanesville Ohio, released all of his animals on October 18th before committing suicide. Within the next 24 hours 49 of his 56 animals were hunted and killed by 50 deputies from the Sheriff’s office in Zanesville.
Among these rare animals were 18 Bengal tigers, two wolves, eight lionesses, six black bears, and one baboon. As of yesterday there was only one monkey missing, but deputies have announced that he was eaten by one of the loose tigers.
Thompson had a history with the police department including complaints from neighbors, animal cruelty, fines for loose animals, and a term in prison after being found with illegal weapons. There is speculation that his actions stemmed from his wife recently leaving him.
Photos from Zanesville are hard to stomach. Rare animals slaughtered in a mass hunt. Even so, representatives from the Humane Society and even Jack Hanna have said that deputies were not wrong in their actions. Concerned with their own safety and the safety of residents, deputies were forced to act. Many deputies have voiced their sadness at being put in such a position.
Jack Hanna, who drove up to aid deputies and to transport the captured animals to the Columbus Zoo, has voiced his dismay at the Ohio laws that allow civilians to own exotic animals at their homes. The County Sheriff and Wayne Pacelle, CEO of the Humane Society of the United States, have also voiced outrage about this incident in reference to loose state policy where exotic animals are concerned.
What makes it green? The destruction of these exotic animals is a horrific incident. Sustainable treatment of this planets treasure’s and resources doesn’t include the mistreatment of animals. The fact that Terry Thompson’s actions could lead to the death of 49 exotic animals is disturbing. I’m interested to see what happens in the future. This event has given the Ohio state legislature something to consider and activists a new cause.