Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Reason #48: Private Tigers

So apparently there was a guy in Ohio with his own private wildlife preserve. Despite having been on the loval sheriff's radar for years, there are almost no federal laws regarding the private ownership of exotic animals, and state-by-state laws can be vague and inconsistent, so they hadn't managed to do much about it. He did manage once to get sentenced to a year in prison, but--and this is where the picture starts to fill in nicely--it was for possession of unregistered firearms.

He just got out of prison about a month ago, and sometime yesterday, he released his animals (all 51 species of them, including cheetahs, giraffes, and eighteen fucking tigers! I've never even been to a zoo with eighteen tigers) and promptly shot himself.

As much as my gut reaction to this story is to laugh at the guy for being a moron, and at the notion of tigers and giraffes invading downtown Columbus, it's actually pretty messed up when you consider that police had to shoot the vast majority of the animals rather than risk them getting into populated areas.

According to this article, Ohio has some of the nation's weakest exotic pet restrictions, and therefore, some of the worst animal-related fatality numbers, because really, what else do you expect eighteen tigers (and seventeen lions!) to do when forced to live on some shitkicker's farm in rural Ohio? Maybe it's time for (gasp) more federal laws? They could call it the "No, You Can't Have a Goddamned Tiger" Act of 2011.

Side note - I apologize for the sucky photo at the top of this entry, but it was the least graphic one I could find related to this story.

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