Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Where the Wild Things Are

No, I am not referring to my children in the title of this post. I am really sad to hear about the guy in Ohio who had a whole mess of exotic animals on his property and went a little 'wild' himself. Apparently, he opened all their cages and then shot himself.

Not only was school cancelled for local kiddies, but most of the townies were locked in their homes while police and rescue workers hunted down ( and killed) most of the exotic pets. That seems like a real shame to me. They used tranquilizers where they could, but apparently most of the animals were shot anyway. I never really understood why private citizens would want to to 'keep' exotic animals. The risks seems kind of high to me.
Lions and Tigers and Bears Oh My!

1 comment:

  1. Such a sad and infuriating story. The more I read about it, the angrier I get. It is clear that the guy acted with a lot of malice, cutting fences and messing with the cages to preclude the possibility of resecuring the animals. He knew exactly what he was doing-- and learning that he was going through a divorce, and that his wife considered the animals to be "her children" points to a likely motivation. Despicable.

    On a lighter note, the episode does remind me of an incident from my own Buckeye State days, c 1980 or so. The park I was working then-- Cuyahoga Valley, an "urban national park" located between Cleveland and Akron-- attracted a rough element, and while on foot patrol at one picnic area on a busy Memorial Day weekend, I got a call to respond to help break up a fight at another location. The incident was about a half mile away, over a hill and through the woods, so I started jogging down the trail to get there.

    Halfway there, though, what do I encounter on the trail but a guy walking a lion on a leash? Very rotund guy, dressed like a pimp, extravagant gold teeth, and a real live lion on a heavy chain. The two of them made quite the memorable pair.

    I radio in and tell the other guys they are going to have to break up the brawl without me. To make a long story short, I told Mr. Cool he would have to leave and take Simba with him. He gave me a little guff along the lines of, "It's only a baby," but the darn thing was at least Newfoundland size, and with the park being jammed for the holiday, I was not about to argue issues of "How big a lion is too big?"

    I escorted the guy back to the parking lot to make sure he left, then finally made my way to the scene of the fight, long since sorted out. To this day, I think some of my buddies don't believe the reason I gave them for showing up after they mopped up the mess.