Zoo Director: Keeping Exotic Animals Not Uncommon

DETROIT (WWJ) – An Ohio official said a a wolf and a monkey were the only animals still running looseWednesday afternoon after escaping from an exotic-animal preserve east of Columbus. The farm owner apparently opened cages that housed dozens of dangerous animals and then shot himself.

Sheriff’s deputies shot nearly 50 lions, tigers and other beasts across the Ohio countryside after the owner of a wild-animal park threw their cages open and shot himself.

Detroit Zoo Director Ron Kagan said they’re finding more and more cases of exotic animals living in non-standard habitats.

He told WWJ’s Ron Dewey that as tragic as the events in Zanesville may be, it’s not that uncommon for people to keep wild animals. Kagan said the Detroit Zoo has been rescuing animals from such “preserves” for decades.

“The latest, in terms of dangerous animals, is three lions we rescued from a junkyard in Kansas. It was about a year and a half ago, I think,” said Kagan. “I believe that person also had a couple of tigers and they went on to another place.”

Locally, Kagan said they took in a lion about 18 years ago that was being used to guard a crack house in Detroit.

Kagan said this latest incident in Ohio demonstrates why keeping wild animals should be left to the professionals like those at the Detroit Zoo.

“We have a special team that’s trained with darting animals. You know, there’s just a huge infrastructure, and if somebody isn’t feeling well or has some psychological problems, there are other people that will notice that and immediately step in,” said Kagan.

“We have many layers of protection and that’s what you need,” he said.

Coincidentally, Kagan was in Lansing Wednesday to join those testifying against a bill that would relax state regulations for keeping wild animals.

Meantime, the story out of Zanesville has stirring up strong emotions in WWJ listeners.

Myron Melkonian, a passionate animal lover from Dearborn Heights, called newsroom after he heard that many of the animals were killed.

“This is really upsetting right now … I’m angry,” said Melkonian. “Why do people do that then? We have to take them against their will, abuse them, keep them caged. Leave them alone!”

– More on this story, here.

More from Ron Dewey
Comments

One Comment

  1. luvenlust says:

    why did they have to kill the animals? so sad
    i guess they had to….but wow what a loser the dead guy is for letting them all out….or the killer?
    spooky…….did the animals devour his body?
    i hope the wolf and the monkey make babies together they can name there offspring rick perry the monkey
    or mitt romney the big bad wolf
    LOL
    http://occupyhiphop.wordpress.com/

  2. SMOKEY BEAR says:

    ITS A SHAME THOSE POOR ANIMALS WERE SO SCARED FROM BEING OUT OF ENVIRONMENT. BUT WE SURE DO NO HOW TO KILL SOMETHINGS DON’T WE FOLKS INSTEAD OF SAVING ?, I GUESS THE PEOPLE THAT KILLED THEM ARE GOING TO MOUNT THEM AND PUT THEM IN THERE LIVING ROOMS

    WHAT DO YOU CALL IT CANED HUNTING

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More From CBS Detroit

Best Fall Festivals In Metro DetroitFrom music to art to special events, there's a little something for everyone's delight.
Best 4th Of July Concerts In Metro DetroitStaying home this weekend? Celebrate the 4th of July by rocking out at one of these shows.

Watch & Listen