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. Kristen Dawson

    I just dont understand that the Zanesville authorities KNEW there was a private zoo and I assume gave the permits for it, then WHY was the city not prepared for an emergency with an abundance of tranquilizer darts? It seems very negligent that a zoo was allowed but the city had not been properly prepared or trained to deal with any emergency situation that could arise. If Zaneseville was at all responsible there would have been a trained team at the ready stocked with proper traquilizers and trained animal personnel. Or WHY allow a private zoo within the city limits to begin with? This is such gross political negligence.

    October 19, 2011 at 8:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim Weix

      It would have been fun to watch you shoot the animals with tranquilizer darts, then go follow them in the dark to see if your aim was good and the animal was fast asleep. The result would have been one less female animal rights goof ball and a well fed tiger.

      October 19, 2011 at 9:14 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Expecting Mother

    @dgrl99...yes, I would give my life for my child. What kind parent wouldn't risk their own life for their children's sake? Animals? Most people would be more upset if some jerk kicked a pregnant tiger and her cubs were born dead than if some other jerk killed the poor beast. Animal life is valuable, but not above that of even an unborn potential American's life. I would kill ANY kind of animal that threatened my life, OR the life of my unborn child. Even if that animal was of the human species.

    October 19, 2011 at 8:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim Weix

      Please forgive them. They are what happens to the unborn when their mother takes drugs.

      October 19, 2011 at 9:09 pm | Report abuse |
  3. B Johnson

    I wonder how many cows died in Ohio this week?...Or chickens? Oh yeah.....they are not cute and fuzzy...and someone else pulls the trigger.

    October 19, 2011 at 8:17 pm | Report abuse |
  4. sue

    This could have been prevented if our current governor had signed the ban that the outgoing governor signed.
    http://www.cleveland.com/open/index.ssf/2011/01/strickland_bans_ownership_of_e.html

    October 19, 2011 at 8:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim Weix

      That's one reason the outgoing governor was outgoing. Why would the new governor be as dumb?

      October 19, 2011 at 9:20 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Cindy M

    It is outrageous that these public servants were not properly trained to handle capturing ANY animals using methods other than killing them. The public SHOULD be outraged that all of these innocent animals were murdered because of lack of proper training. It was not their fault that they were taken out of their natural habitat and put on a farm where the farm's owner may have been unstable. ALL LAW ENFORCEMENT officials should be trained in how to capture large animals. Just about any animal–even a cow, for crying out loud–could be dangerous in certain locations. We MUST stop relying on killing to capture animals like this who escape. And DarkStarWNY you can release a tiger next to my house any day of the week and I would gladly support tranquilizing and capturing it over killing it. Of course, ownership of such animals SHOULD be outlawed. Meanwhile, all law enforcement officials should be required to undergo mandatory training to be better prepared to deal with such situations. They should be ashamed at the mass killing they conducted. It is outrageous and disgusting.

    October 19, 2011 at 8:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wandering Paws

      small town yahoo law enforcement officers can not be trained for every imaginable situation that could happen... and I think I would call this event rather unimaginable. sensless sensless killings. but 100% of the blame goes to the Ohio state government that allowed laws to expire and gives exotic permits to people convicted of animal cruelty, not to mention unstable people. and all you people here ranting about treehuggers ..or I fear for my children,.. or those poor 800 pound little animals, all of you are acting like idiots. this is tragic and the state of Ohio should answer for it. this planet isn't Disny World for god's sake.

      October 19, 2011 at 9:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim Weix

      Good idea Cindy. All law enforecement staff in the United States should be trained to handle tigers. Go to bed now. 12 year olds should not be up this late.

      October 19, 2011 at 9:07 pm | Report abuse |
  6. ithomasmcc

    senseless indeed. some encounters may have called for immediate action im sure, but zoos all over the country would adopt those overnight undoubtedly.

    October 19, 2011 at 8:27 pm | Report abuse |
  7. dave pizzola

    Ohio made it on the news again,no jobs,no braines when something goes wrong,leave the aminals alone so they can go after the greedy people who is destroying this country and don;t forget ohio greedy.

    October 19, 2011 at 8:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim Weix

      Yeah, that will work Dave. You need to put your joint away and go have someything to eat. You are a moron.

      October 19, 2011 at 9:04 pm | Report abuse |
  8. cicimau

    Disgusting, disgusting, disgusting........the law enforcement is an embarassing disgrace to any person holding an official office.......absolutely no reason to destroy all of those captive exotic animals.......tranquilizers have been effectively used for years........you were aware of Mr. Thompson's "zoo" for years.......why were you not prepared??? why not call in experts??? .....animal cruelty definitely.......I hope they are held accountable for abusing their power and shamelessly murdering/hunting "zoo" animals. I would be seriously worried if I lived in Zanesville, Oh. I would not want those officers enforcing any laws in my town. They are trigger happy egoists. Jack Hanna?? Are you supporting this incident???

    October 19, 2011 at 8:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim Weix

      "I would be seriously worried if I lived in Zanesville"
      Fortunately, for the people in Zaneville, you don't.

      October 19, 2011 at 9:01 pm | Report abuse |
  9. ohioresident

    Listen people, this is OHIO sorry we are not prepared to handle mass amounts of wild animals in a RESIDENTIAL AREA. A tiger escapes from the zoo OK, put an alert out, tranq it and get it back home. But this 18 TIGERS 17 LIONS Bears, wolves etc. in a small RESIDENTIAL AREA of Ohio. How the hell can you sit there and criticize these officers for doing this. This was an emergency situation and they handled it the best they could. And instead of of throwing a fit as soon as you read the words "exotic animals killed" read the rest of the article. The officers did try to tranquilize the animals before they shot them. If you could be a rational person for 5 minutes you would have read that one of the animals became violent when it was struck with the dart THEN was shot because he was attacking the officers. Wake up people, unless you have ever come face to face with a wild tiger, lion, bear etc. you should not criticize their actions because you honestly cannot tell me exactly how you would react.

    October 19, 2011 at 8:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim Weix

      The animal rights people criticize, because they are morons. This is what happens when we allow genetic mistakes to bear children.

      October 19, 2011 at 8:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • NoOneImportant

      ohioresident: Just pointing out that the news clip did indeed show them tranquilizing a tiger. HOWEVER, it did NOT attack the officers, it RAN AWAY and they shot it before the sedative could work.

      October 19, 2011 at 8:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kristen Dawson

      That is exactly why the authorities were negligent in allowing so many wild animals near a residential neighborhood without the proper safeguards in place in case of a major breach such as this one. There are many zoos in this country that have step by step safeguards for situations like this. It was negligent of the city to allow permits for this and the elected officials put the residents, police and animals at risk. Time for some better educated, more enlightened and approriately responsible city officials to be elected.

      October 19, 2011 at 9:37 pm | Report abuse |
  10. joy k

    There is no doubt that this was a copy cat act – this guy could have been right out of the movie , Water For Elephants. Owner loses wife , goes busurk, orders all animals to be released out of the circus cages onto the attending crowds.
    I m surprised no one in the media has mentioned the similarities between the move and this act in Ohio?

    October 19, 2011 at 8:40 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Jim Weix

    I am sure that Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and the moronic followers of this goof ball organization will have all the answers. Please don't confuse this group with the real Humane Societies that exist locally. HSUS is a goof ball group like PeTA.

    October 19, 2011 at 8:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bob Dobalina

      Yea, we "goofballs" do. It's a political campaign to get OH to ban the ownership of exotic animals. Using our political process and engaging our legislators is really whack, huh?
      What have you done to help? Seriously, I am interested in hearing about your efforts

      October 19, 2011 at 8:53 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Bob Dobalina

    This tragedy could have been prevented. The Humane Society of the United States has a campaign to get OH to ban ownership of exotic animals. Let the legislators know what you think http://www.humanesociety.org/news/press_releases/2011/10/zanesville_ohio_exotics_101911.html

    October 19, 2011 at 8:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim Weix

      Dear Bob Dobalina,
      I actually enjoyed beating HSUS and goofs like you by getting a mourning dove season in Wisconsin. We had our first season in 2003.

      October 19, 2011 at 8:56 pm | Report abuse |
  13. christinH

    i am so outraged at how stupid some people can be. yes it was for public safty but this wouldnt have had to of happened if the guy didnt have the animals in the first place. i mean really he was charged with animal crulety and animals at large 2005 so why, after that, would people let him have even MORE dangerous animals. where is the protection for the animals i mean some, if not all, of the tigers were indangered is't it illigal to kill them? the humane society said Thompson "would almost certainly have had his animals removed may1, 2011 IFemergancy order had not expired." What happened there? Why wernt the animals removed then? maybe if they had been this wouldnt have happened and ALL of the animals would still be alive today. we arnt 'tree huggers' we are simply people that CARE about what happens to the lives of these amazing creatures. so think long and hard because this DEFFINITELY could have been prevented and it CAn be prevented from happening again. if people would open their eyes and fix their mistakes and make things right when they see they are wronge.

    October 19, 2011 at 8:54 pm | Report abuse |
  14. D. Antigo

    I have to say that I am absolutely horrified at this whole situation. I cannot believe the animals that were taken down during this whole ordeal. Yes, I am aware that they are wild. Yes, I am aware of the dangers, and Yes to everything else that has been told to us in order to gain our support in the senseless killing of these animals. This was nothing but an animal hunt and it sickens me that it was allowed to happen. You cannot tell me that it was necessary to shoot 40+ animals! I am so angry and so disgusted and someone needs to be held accountable for the cruelty that was allowed to happen.

    October 19, 2011 at 8:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim Weix

      Yes, too bad they killed them. They should have captured them and put them in your backyard. You could have fed them all carrots.

      October 19, 2011 at 8:58 pm | Report abuse |
  15. mark

    This many exotic animals should have never been allowed to have been caged at one place by anyone. Also, this law in Ohio should not have been allowed to expire by the responsible authorities. I understand these animals lives had to be taken so no humans were harmed or killed. However, this whole incident could have been avoided with better laws, and not allowing current laws to expire. That many exotic animals in one place by anyone should not be allowed to start with. Most city laws on allow you own so many domestic pets like dogs and cats, and that makes sense. So why can someone be allowed to own all of these types of animals. Wake up Ohio! Hopefully other states that may fall into this same category will take note. Concerned in Arkansas.....Mark

    October 19, 2011 at 8:59 pm | Report abuse |
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