The five animals who survived last year’s deadly escape in Zanesville have been returned to where it all began. Why is there still no law banning the sale and keeping of wild and dangerous animals as pets?
The ugly cycle begins when baby monkeys, tigers, lions, and bears are forcibly removed from their frantic mothers so that the infants can be acclimated to human contact. Traumatized and terrified, these young animals don’t stand a chance of ever living as nature intended. Primates are diapered and often have their canine teeth yanked out. Cubs spend the rest of their lives pacing behind bars.
Since dealers market these animals as little more trouble than stuffed toys, most people are inevitably shocked by the responsibility, expense of specialized food, and space and veterinary requirements of exotics.
Captivity is often ultimately a death sentence for exotics and in too many cases, for the people who “had” to have them. Denied everything that is important to them and forced into close contact with humans, stressed animals frequently lash out. Countless people have suffered devastating injuries, many losing limbs or their lives.
How many more people and animals must suffer before Ohio officials recognize that exotic animals don’t belong in private homes and backyard menageries?