Wild Animals In Ohio Had To Be Put Down

image of press conference Jack Hanna and Muskingum County Sheriff Matt Lutz
Jack Hanna (speaking) and Muskingum County Sheriff Matt Lutz

There has been a lot of anger and complaints about how most of the exotic animals that got loose at a farm outside of Zanesville, Ohio were killed rather than corralled and captured to save them. The facts of the situation led to the rational conclusion that the safety of the community trumped the need to save as many animals as possible.

The first fact is the number of animals. There were 56 large wild animals on the loose. Even on those wildlife shows that show conservationists drugging large wild animals only do it one at a time. There were dozens more in the area of the farm.

Second they didn’t have enough tools to drug or capture the animals before dark. The normal arsenal of a law enforcement agency not normally dealing with large wild animals don’t have tranq guns. They had to call in a zoo and a nearby wild life preserve and then only were able to round up four tranq guns. 18 Bengal tigers are far more dangerous than a typical animal escape of cows or pigs usually seen in rural Ohio.

Third the animals were unknown. To use tranquilizers effectively the wild life team need to know the weight of the animal and how much and if it had eaten before the attempt. If you are guessing then there is a real chance you might not use the right amount of drug and the animal won’t be sedated – just very angry.

I hate that they had to kill as many animals as they did but given the circumstances the Sheriff did the right thing. Had the incident happened in the morning and they had hours before dark then maybe they could have done something different. Imagine the anger if a human was harmed by the animals.

The laws in Ohio need to be strengthened to prohibit collectors of exotic animals as the owner in this case seemed to be.