It appears that Ohio has a circus on its hands.
Or so the Associated Press reported yesterday. Not in those specific words, but after reading an article on how scores of exotic animals escaped an Ohio farm, I could easily draw the conclusion.
Yesterday the fences were “left unsecured” at the Muskingum County Animal Farm, which housed wolves, bears, tigers, giraffes, and various other animals that are now roaming the roadways and suburban developments of east-central Ohio. Authorities reported to the scene after calls during rush hour that wild animals were spotted along the road.
How I’ve longed to be on my way home from work one day and see a giraffe trotting along, minding its own business. I feel like that would really help alleviate my end-of-day stress.
It appears that things happened quite out of order in this scenario. Now, I’m not an authority of any kind, but it seems to me that when one gets a call about exotic animals on the loose, one calls animal handlers, heads to the scene, and waits for their arrival. Instead, it appears that deputies simply began shooting animals with assault rifles. I’m sorry, you probably think I meant tranquilizers. I didn’t. I meant assault rifles.
The deputies, who saw many animals standing outside their cages and others that had escaped past the fencing surrounding the property, began shooting them. They said there had been no reports of injuries among the public.
Staffers from the Columbus Zoo went to the scene, hoping to tranquilize and capture the animals. The sheriff said caretakers might put food in the animals’ open cages to try to lure them back. (Associated Press via FoxNews.com)
25, by the way. In case you were wondering how many animals were shot. Animals in cage = pay admission. Animals out of cage = SHOOT! FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, SHOOT!
There’s a silver lining to all of this. Local school districts canceled classes for today. That’s kind of cool. I always loved a good snow day, but nothing beats staying inside for fear that an ostrich will peck you to death or a tiger will pounce the school bus. That’s rad.
My favorite quotation in the article is from Sheriff Matt Lut, who says “Any kind of cat species or bear species is what we are concerned about. We don’t know how much of a head start these animals have on us”. He talked about them like they’re escaped murder convicts. I can just see the staff meeting now, with maps and pushpins up all CSI-like as they try to get inside the tigers’ heads and figure out where their next stops would be.
The article mentions that Ohio happens to have the nation’s weakest restrictions on exotic pets. It requires permits for bears, but so long as you snatch yourself a lion, tiger, or other nonnative animal, you don’t need to worry about regulation for now. So strap up and head over to Ohio before the deputies down them all with assault rifles. And if you happen to be an Ohio native, enjoy your day off school, and take a family field trip to the Interstate. See if dad can finally round up that camel you’ve asked for every Christmas. ♣You can read more about the incident here, at FoxNews.com. Just promise you won’t believe the little tagline under their logo that reads “fair and balanced”.