Thursday, October 20, 2011

Not Safe in Urban Parks and Not Safe in the Wilds of Africa

Where does one begin to address the barbaric and senseless carnage that occurred in a small Ohio community yesterday?

18 endangered Bengal Tigers, 17 lions and numerous wolves and bears taken down in a hail of bullets after their "owner" committed suicide and released all his captive prisoners to what was surely a whole scale execution.

Authorities can partially and rightfully say they "had no choice" yesterday other than to shoot to kill almost all of the abused and panicked animals in order to protect the human community.

But, for sure, there were many "choices" along the deadly path of what ultimately turned out to be a shameful and despicable slaughter.

It begins with the trafficking of endangered wildlife from remote parts of the world from the wilds of Africa to the jungles of Asia to be held prisoner as "pets" here. Usually, the mothers are shot to get to the babies and then the captured infant animals are sent on their hell journey to this country. All for money and profit.

The "exotic pets" trade is a multi-billion dollar business in this country.

But, it seems few care what happens to these exotic animals once they are sold over the Internet or in stores to people who, for the most part, have neither the financial means nor the education to properly raise and care for them.

How did this couple have 58 exotic animals on their land? Since when were Ohio farms deemed suitable habitat for lions, tigers, wolves and bears?

What about the charges of animal cruelty?

Horses left to starve and then fed to lions and tigers.  Numerous complaints of abuse, cruelty and irresponsibility.  The owner arrested for guns and weapons possession.  Who was caring for all these captive wild animals while the owner was in jail?

Were all these circumstances not a "red flag" to ANYONE?

Where was the local SPCA, Columbus Zoo or even elected officials while all this was going on? 

What good are animal cruelty laws if no one enforces them?  Are they merely window dressing on law books?

These pitiful and unfortunate animals should have been removed from this abuse and neglect a long time ago.

But, for some inexplicable reason they were not.  Instead, according to one news source, the owner and his wife were ordered to "find homes for the animals" some months back.

But, one doesn't simply put an ad in the local Pennymart for adoption of lions, tigers, wolves and bears, nor conduct "wild pet" adoptions out of the local Petco or Petsmart.

(On a personal level, I have learned how hard it is to find a "home" for a flightless, domestic duck in a public park.  Tens of thousands of pet cats and dogs are destroyed every day because "homes" cannot be found for them.)

But, somehow, these misguided or even mentally disturbed people were expected to magically "find homes" for dozens of big cats, wolves and bears.

The owner, obviously over his head and desperate simply elected instead to put a bullet in his head yesterday and open all the cages as apparently to his way of thinking, there was no other way out.

That seems to show a complete and utter failure of not just those agencies supposedly in charge of "animal welfare" but those also having to do with human welfare and mental health.

For months, I have been writing in this journal how animals like peaceful geese are not safe from human tyranny in the normal sanctuary of public parks.    

But, nor are animals safe from human exploitation, abuse and slaughter in the remote areas of the world such as African deserts or Asian jungles.

That endangered species like Bengal tigers had to go down yesterday in a hail of bullets on Ohio farmlands is to the utter shame of all of us.

Like the roundups and massacres of thousands of Canada geese in NYC urban parks, this carnage too, was totally preventable through insight and responsibility.

Somewhere, sometime, we need to draw the lines on what can be done to animals for the sakes of human whim, greed and selfishness. 

Until then, the terms, "animal protection and welfare," as well as true justice and peace are empty and meaningless phrases.  -- PCA




No comments: