Overheard on CNN.com: Disgust over animal killings
After exotic animals were released from their cages, authorities in Eastern Ohio had to respond to a dangerous situation.
October 19th, 2011
12:42 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Disgust over animal killings

Comment of the morning:

“Terribly sad in every way. I'm trying to convince myself these magnificent animals are maybe better off than new lives in different cages. Very upsetting.” - StaciBinore

Eastern Ohio reacts to loose, dangerous animals

Officials say Terry Thompson, 62, released nearly 50 exotic animals from his preserve in Ohio — including lions and bears — before dying from a self-inflicted wound. Most of the escaped animals were put down, and authorities are still looking for the few that haven’t been accounted for.

The story shocked and upset many CNN.com readers who wanted to know why the animals hadn’t been tranquilized rather than shot. Others wanted to know how Thompson, who had recently been released from prison for possessing illegal firearms, had been allowed to own so many exotic animals.

intheaspens said, “How sad that the animals have to suffer because of one stupid human.”

reticular responded, “It isn't because of just one stupid human; this guy wouldn't have been able to do this in most other states. The Ohio legislature deserves most of the blame for this. They've condoned this kind of stupidity for decades.”

kscanuck called it “A perfect example of why private ownership of these type of wild animals should be illegal everywhere. They are not pets. What a sad situation.”

Mother73 said, “So nobody is prepared to trap them or sedate them? Let's just run out and kill some unruly camels! Sheesh. And people say Texas is backwards.”

DarkStarWNY responded, “Let's set a lion loose next to your house and then you can talk about trapping it rather then killing it.”

MadCityBabe said, “It's a terrible shame that some of these animals are put down simply because they were caged at one point and then set free; they are only following their natural instincts. Wild/exotic animals should NEVER be caged or kept as pets. It serves no purpose and is unfair to the creatures. SHAME!”

Templars83 responded, “Agreed. This is awful and there apparently is not an Ohio Wildlife and Preservation department that actually functions.”

C0yolxauhqui said, “ 'Exotic Animal Farms' like this should not be permitted. It amounts to animal cruelty and poses serious threats to public safety, obviously. I can't believe places like this even exist in the United States.

Ghsty9 responded, “Same goes for zoos.”

joe0339 said, “For all you people who say ‘why shoot them and not tranquilize them?’ Obviously you do not live in Muskingham County and do not have children. Put yourself in that situation before you go ‘PETA’ on somebody.”

kstr13 asked, “What happens when they kill an endangered animal like the white tiger? Is there no punishment that comes out of that? They’re almost extinct; the Columbus Zoo got fined a huge amount for accidently killing a Giraffe and a Tiger. Does this action not deserve any punishment? In my opinion it does!”

MoeHammit responded, “Read the article. HUMAN safety comes first regardless of the status of the animal.”

DarkenedDan said, “Bengal Tigers are an endangered species, so wouldn't killing one be a federal or international crime? Just curious.”

ChuckSand said, “Here's the deal tree huggers. These animals are all large predators that in their natural environment kill things much bigger than humans. Lions and tigers weigh 400lbs, Grizzlies weigh 900lbs and wolves hunt in packs. So how do you control these animals before they kill someone? Well a tranquilizer dart is accurate to about 40yds, a rifle is accurate to well over 300 yds. Who wants to get within 40yds of one of these animals, much less in the dark? Get real. If someone was killed, I know you would be the same person whining that the public officials weren’t doing enough to protect the public.”

blueparadise said, “All of you people moaning about 'innocent animals being killed' probably just finished wolfing down a Bacon Egg and Cheese McMuffin. You probably don't think twice about all the animals you eat throughout the day.”

Rizengrom responded, “Do you know the difference between consumption products and exotic animals/endangered species? You don't go to jail or get fined for killing or eating chicken!”

Do your views align with these commenters' thoughts? Post a comment below or sound off on video.

Compiled by the CNN.com moderation staff. Some comments edited for length or clarity.

soundoff (264 Responses)
  1. Jeff Frank ( R - OHIO ) "Яight Wing Иutcase"

    Thank you CNN

    October 19, 2011 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
  2. michaelfury

    What about these "loose, dangerous animals"?


    October 19, 2011 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    I agree with Chuck Sand.

    October 19, 2011 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • ????

      Hi Cesar!

      October 19, 2011 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Portland Tony


    October 19, 2011 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • U-Turn

      12-pack of beer – $15
      Rifle ammo – $80
      Semi-auto rifle – $220
      Capping your neighbor's orange tabby thinking its a wild tiger – PRICELESS!

      October 19, 2011 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Come on!

      Hey how about Ohio voted Dem last election. Get your facts straight you hippie. This is a typical law enforcement response to a dangerous situation. No people should not be allowed to own animals like this and people like you should be able to access a keyboard!

      October 19, 2011 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Martha Stabler

    The governor and his animal welfare and enforcement agencies are to be blamed. What kind of barbaric and backwards state does not make cracking down on exotic animal auctions a priority. How can a man who has been convicted of animal cruelty be allowed to run a preserve. Wake up and make policy government idiots!

    October 19, 2011 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Jeff Frank ( R - OHIO ) "Яight Wing Иutcase"

    Unfortunate this man had to go through this, and risk the safety of the community. Ohio is not a zoo, but we have one wonderfull zoo over in Columbus. I'm sure Jack Hanna isn't too thrilled about how it was handled.

    October 19, 2011 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Portland Tony

      I'm afraid these animals were headed for a"trophy" case ...not a zoo!

      October 19, 2011 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • U-Turn

      Are you kidding Jeff Frank?!

      Jack Hanna was the first one in line to get his hunting permit renewed for this fun hunt!

      October 19, 2011 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jaynicia

      Actually, Jack Hanna was on GMA this morning and he condoned what happened because he understood that these animals were wild and could have done anything and that human life comes first.

      I'm more surprised that PETA hasn't come out and protested.

      October 19, 2011 at 6:09 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Natalie Rogers

    I am sure the Teaparty-ers think it's just fine to buy, neglect and torture animals without any government regulation and then arm the surrounding population with guns so they can protect themselves without any regulation but let's see what happens when, because of tax cuts, the state has run out of money to pay law enforcement to step in when things go awry...

    October 19, 2011 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Come on!

      Really?? Are you 12?? What does the Tea Party have to do with this??

      October 19, 2011 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Galactic Cannibal

    Oh no !!! a few wild animals on the loose . Lock -n- load and kill them. Yep shoot them . we are in mortal danger in the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave . But wait have you all forgotten that 13,500 people are murdered in the USA each year. And since 9/11 over 135,000 people have been murdered here in my country the US. But a few imprisoned wild animals get free (where they belong) and we attack and kill them. All animals will hunt and kill for food, unlike the human animal who will kill for no good reason other than greed , hate, power ,etc.
    WAKE UP AMERICA this is no longer the" Land of the Free or the Home of the Brave" ....Was it ever ?...I think not. And why did they not use tranquilizer darts ...duhhh !! does stupidity come to mind.

    October 19, 2011 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • gillian

      Jeez. Seriously? Btw....tigers are not native to ohio. So thats NOT where they belong.

      October 19, 2011 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Robin Miles

      Anyone who had anything to with this unspeakable tragedy should be fired, recalled and then sent to prison. The number one person responsible for this happening is Governor Kasich who refused to continue legislation to protect animals from abuse. He allowed this to happen, and needs to be recalled. Everyone in this town knew that this jack-ass had these animals, and nothing was done to save them. I'm surprised that with all of the mindless shooting going on that noone was shot. It's a miracle that a child wasn't killed by a stray bullet .These animals must have been terrified. They were picked off one by one because of ignorance.

      October 19, 2011 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Come on!

      As mentioned before this would be a typical law enforcement response to a very dangerous situation. You would feel differently if a bear had eaten a child. Is it right? No, not at all! The man should have never been allowed (or anyone in Ohio for that matter) to own dangerous exotic animals. However the authorities are doing their jobs and keeping citizens safe, there really is no other way.

      October 19, 2011 at 5:07 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Dave in FL

    In response to Chuck Sand. Yes, I would gladly put myself within 40 yards of any of these creatures to tranquilize them. If the attempt were to fail, only then would the animal need to be shot if it were to try to attack. Why are so many people so eager to kill anything that they don't understand. Very very sad.

    October 19, 2011 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Florida has it all wrong!

      Because we live by the moto:
      "Just first and ask questions later!"
      "Its better to ask forgiveness than permission."

      And why are you so appalled that these animals are being killed/ Last time I check, you people in Florida are all for the killing of children, seeing as you let that nutjob walk after killing her kid!

      October 19, 2011 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • manemang

      This is the big government the tea party has been railing about. I bet you all the tea partiers are angry that government got involved since everyone is supposed to carry a weapon to defend themselves from animals; human animals included.

      October 19, 2011 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
  10. banasy©

    The animals were dangerous. Enough said.

    For all of those who wish less government interference:
    This is what you get.

    October 19, 2011 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • withoutgod

      Yeah, just look at all the good the lack of regulation did here. There are some things that require government interference, only because there are people stupid enough to do things like this.

      October 20, 2011 at 9:02 am | Report abuse |
  11. Bill

    It should be absolutely illegal for individuals to keep such animals! We have good zoos and nature parks all over the country where trained staff and a suitable environment is provided for the animals and we can all see and learn about them. When these kind of situations happen it's the animals that always lose. Just like having large snakes which are somehow always turned loose eventually to upset the ecosystem or worse, this sort of bizarre stuff needs to be stopped. Very sad indeed but no need for any of this.

    October 19, 2011 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
  12. gung hoe

    @natalie rogers you lady are some kind of IDIOT!!! TEA PARTIERS LADY DONT WANT THE GOV IN YOUR BATHROOM TELLING YOU WHEN AND WHERE TO GO LIKE YOU DO. So lay off the tea partiers who are trying to stand up for your rights to lady so get off the tea party kick and grow up

    October 19, 2011 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse |
  13. gung hoe

    I also would gladly put myself within 40 yds to tranpuilize the animals there could be a rifle backup in case it didnt work

    October 19, 2011 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Ann

    SO SAD! A perfect example of why individuals (or even zoos) should not be allowed to have exotic animals that must be kept in cages. Animals were created to exist in their natural habitat – not to be locked up or put on display. The animals didn't ask for this – the humans are totally responsible! The owner obviously cared nothing for his animals; the authorities should not have allowed the owner possession of these animals; and the police apparently simply ran out there and indiscriminately killed them. According to reports, some animals were "simply standing by their cages", some were "at the entrance to the property"", some were "near their owner". I've seen nothing to indicate that there was any effort made to tranqualize and capture those animals that were posing no threat. You would think that a State that would allow this situation (through no law or regulation) to happen would be prepared to deal with it in a more humane way. Animals, of course, shouldn't take precedence over humans. But, sometimes I wonder, why not?!

    October 19, 2011 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • withoutgod

      They attempted tranquilization, and the Tiger they hit went ballistic. All of the animals killed are capable of easily killing people, even baboons, who sometimes eat children. They captured a grizzly, two monkeys and 3 leopards alive, it's not like they didn't try, If they weren't limited by the amount of daylight, it might have been different, but you really can't have 45+ apex predators roaming around Ohio in the dark.

      October 20, 2011 at 9:13 am | Report abuse |
  15. Chad Haverstock

    This exotic wild animal news reminds me of George W. Bush's next-door neighbor who lives just north of Crawford, TX. Ted Nugent operated an exotic game park there, where rich people paid big bucks to hunt exotic wild animals with fully automatic weapons. I was engaged to Nugent's next door neighbor and we could hear the automatic rifle fire, and one time a wildebeast got out of the park and died on her property, with no-less than 8 bulletholes in the animal. News like this NEVER makes national headlines. Nugent was even busted having relations with a little girl he had adopted. He even ended up marrying her when she got old enough! And this isn't "mud slinging" at an ardent financial supporter of Bush's. This is news.

    October 19, 2011 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
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