I sure picked the wrong day to go to Zanesville. I was headed to Zanesville this morning for a meeting and just as I got outside of Columbus, I started hearing the news reports about exotic animals on the loose. Say what?? As I got closer to Zanesville, I saw a sign instructing drivers to stay in their cars and to call 911. I saw a large road kill of some kind along the side of the road about the same time I saw the sign but it was pouring rain and there are always deer on the roads just outside of the city. The reports were coming in all day but you betcha I took a good look around before getting out of my car when I reached the office and then again when I left. It's all over the news and I'm sure you have all seen it but I did want to put my two-cents in.
It's just an ugly situation all around. I feel sad for the sheriffs that had to make the call to shoot many of the animals. I'm glad to see that many animal rights groups are coming to their defense. It's not their fault that those animals were loose. It's not their fault that they are not trained to handle wild animals. They are there to protect the citizens and I really think that is what they did. Those poor animals were out of their normal surroundings and scared. They are also wild animals. It sounds like they were not socialized (as much as a wild animal can be socialized/tamed) and it's not like the sheriff's department could sit around and wait for animal handlers to arrive (they did later and I guess some animals have been transported to the Columbus Zoo).
Obviously that man had some serious issues. Not only did he takes his own life but he took the lives of those animals before he even opened those cages. Reports are saying that the conditions that the animals had been living in were deplorable. Even if the animals has all be captured and could have been relocated to zoos and animal sanctuaries, I bet many of them were already sick and dying. The blame is placed on that man who owned the animals. It is placed on the people that sold him the animals. Animals are living things, not trophies, not collectibles.
The entire situation is sad. There are already a lot of jokes going around and I can only imagine what the late night comedy shows are going to be saying about this rural part of the state but it's not funny really. A man lost his life (whether that's karma or not, its not for me to say) and a lot of innocent animals lost their lives because of his actions. As horrible as it may sound, those animals might be better off. No animal deserves to be treated the way it sounds like those animals were being treated and it may have been too late for them anyways.
Of course no one will ever know every side to this story and the authorities are still finding out more and more but based on what I know right now, that's my two cents.