READER'S EDITORIAL: TRAGEDY HIGHLIGHTS NEED TO RESTRICT OWNERSHIP OF EXOTIC ANIMALS

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By Bobbi Brink
Lions, Tigers and Bears in Alpine

 

October 20, 2011 (Alpine)--Yesterday's tragedy at an exotic wild life farm in Zanesville, Ohio should serve as an urgent alarm for all of us that we need stronger regulations and a national data bank for all wild animals living in captivity. Nearly fifty animals - Bengal tigers, black bears, lions, wolves and others - were killed by police after a distraught private owner opened their cages, setting them loose.... and then killed himself.

Authorities in Ohio, called to this farm with numerous complaints over the years, have had little legal recourse to address these conditions. In America, many states simply have no enforceable laws for private ownership of these beautiful, but powerful wild animals.

I spent the day yesterday talking about this issue with media outlets around San Diego County and watched as other animal advocates and experts expressed my same concerns on national television, calling for more strict regulations and laws so that we can prevent these types of incidents from happening again and to protect the animals and our communities.

Lions Tigers & Bears is working with other sanctuaries around the country to call for these stronger regulations as well as requirements for micro-chipping of wild animals to help authorities identify the animals and hold owners more accountable.

Learn about more ways to help at www.lionstigersandbears.org.

Lions, Tigers and Bears is a rescue facility for big cats and bears located in Alpine, California. The views expressed in this editorial reflect the views of its author and do not necessarily reflect the views of East County Magazine. To submit an editorial for consideration, contact editor@eastcountymagazine.org .