Thursday, October 20, 2011

Ohio Animal Extravaganza

Everyone is apparently taking sides on the whole shebang in Ohio. If you haven't heard about it, where have you been? But seriously, it's getting sort of crazy.

Here's my two cents:

1. The fact that the outside cages were all open, but there were still, apparently, monkeys and or chimps caged inside the house, doesn't add up to suicide, to me.

2. The fact that a bunch of the animals were still within 500yds of their cages when the police arrived, really doesn't add up. Seems to me if the animals were outside the cages when the gunshot went off, they'd be gone. Also seems to me that if the cage doors were opened after the big loud noise, caution about the big loud noise might keep them slinking about long enough to realize that the guy with the food had become the food.

3. As for all of the welfare checks and cruelty to animals calls... nowhere I've seen has reported any action taken on the part of law enforcement or animal control. Knowing what I know about the way those calls work... if someone calls it in, they have to investigate, which means a report has to be filed on the incident. Therefore it's entirely possible, lacking any information about specific charges and or actions taken against the owner- which, by the way, I think the media would be all over if they had any indication of it- it's entirely possible that those calls were, at best, just overenthusiastic animal lovers, and at worst, some jerkoff with a beef causing problems.

4. At least one story said that his neighbors brought him carrion and dead cattle to feed the carnivores. If the neighbors had a serious beef with this guy, they would not be helping him feed his animals.

I just think it's all sort of fishy, for various reasons. The guy wasn't a saint, I wouldn't have been happy about the size of the pens, for instance, if I was in charge, but there aren't any real indications that he was evil or cruel, either. I'd like to see more investigation done on this but local law enforcement there have already declared it suicide, so it probably won't be done.

It sucks that most of the animals were killed, but one story I read had a comment from a zoo worker who tranqed a tiger which subsequently had to be shot by deputies as it charged her, before the tranquilizers could kick in. Situations like that, yes, you get dead critters. Sucks, but frankly better a tiger than a human trying to help.

There. Feel free to discuss amongst yourselves in comments.


Jess said...

I have little experience with non-pet critters, which I won't elaborate on.

Few can afford to keep an animal, such as a tiger, or other large exotic animal. They need much, much more than a cage and a meal. To make matters worse, the species may not be anything similar to the species in the wild. Besides genetic differences due to inbreeding, the human factor changes the dynamics. Humans become a source of food, whether as a caretaker or a meal.

Non-human primates are another problem. Usually, someone buys one due to a whim. They're all cute, clingy and tender when they're infants. As they grow, even the smallest can become dangerous due to their incredible strength and formidable canines. When you add they're messy, can become mentally disturbed due to their failure to interact with humans and can live for up to half a century, the dedication to provide for a lifetime usually disappears.

Those problems are not all the problems. People are scared of wild animals. If you have some in captivity, sooner, or later, you'll be under the close scrutiny of a wary neighbor or official. One mistake, or an animal escape can lead to civil and criminal penalties. Your neighbors become your adversary and they'll make strong efforts to seperate the owner from the animals.

Last, but not least: Most people with exotics develop a deep love, or fondness for their animals. It goes beyond the usual owner/pet relationship. This fondness can lead to bad decisions or a denial of the fact the entire situation is precarious at best. While there are some people that can manage and provide a good environment, they're rare and the usual victim of the entire mess is the animal. In some situations the kindness thing to do is euthanasia. While it may seem there should be a sanctuary to send the animal, there usually isn't and even then the other animals may not accept the "humanized" animal. If they don't kill it outright, the animal has to live a long lonely life in isolation.

Anonymous said...

Loud noises don't mean much to animals.

I've seen deer in the wild ignore shotguns fired at grouse, for instance. (They raised their heads for dogs barking and other deer walking into the clear cut).

Deer are seen fairly often at a rifle range I shoot at, including just after I have been firing handguns and rifles.

The Ohio story is unfortunate but I don't think the cops had much choice.

Old NFO said...

Good points... Just sayin

mustanger said...

I've always figured if my 14lb. half-Siamese house cat weighed 400lbs., tiger-size, we'd be in serious trouble. As he is, he's just aggravating at worst. Tigers are considered big and dangerous game for a reason.

Jess nailed it on the non-human primates.

I recall somebody was starting up a gorrilla sanctuary in Morganton, GA several years back... that had the whole area worked up over big strong wild animals getting loose.

My Daddy and some of his co-workers like to shoot sporting clays at this one local range. He talks about the deer feeding through while they're shooting. I've shot deer on my family's property and seen the others circle back in afterward.