Zoo Official Discusses Wild Animal Situation In Ohio

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Roughly four dozen wild animals were set free in Zanesville, Ohio Tuesday night.

Authorities have been trying to track them down, but as many as 30 were shot and killed overnight.

Many people are upset over the animals being killed and want to know why officials did not use tranquilizers to capture them.

While there is never any regulation that is foolproof, experts at the Pittsburgh Zoo said some states like Pennsylvania are better able to regulate exotic animal owners than others.

“Here in Pennsylvania, we have different laws than the laws in Ohio. If an individual wants to own an exotic animal here, there are rules and regulations and inspections that have to be followed or the animal is taken away.

“Here at the zoo, we have a huge professional staff. Everybody has a job to do and everybody does their job very well. We have the facilities and the staff to take care of a large amount of exotic animals.

“One person taking care of that many exotics, and one thing goes wrong and you see what has happened,” Lead Carnivore Keeper Kathy Suthard said.

Suthard has been caring for animals like the ones that were set free for 31 years. She has never seen an incident like this before.

The goal is to capture the animals alive when possible. However, in a situation like this with human lives potentially being threatened, officials had no choice but to shoot to kill.


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  • ohisians

    Ohioans are so strange…..look at the junk they drive…..They are so weird

  • Bruce

    I love the cops in our society today; triger happy, and wild animals themselves. More like neanderthals.

  • Young

    I cannot believe our police kill these animals. Why not let animal control do their jobs in this matter? I don’t believe all these animals we in danger of the public. I think the police took the matter in their own hands instead of looking into other measures. Sorry police I don’t take your side in this matter you guys are dead wrong here!

  • Irwin

    Let’s show people that owning exotic animals is wrong by brutally killing all of them – that’ll teach the poor innocent animals that’ve had the misfortune of being captured, enslaved, abused and then brutally massacred. A fitting end to a miserable man-made existence. Play it safe – I’d still feel better with an accidental death caused by tranquilizer overdose than a rifle shot to the head. Humans are self-righteous sadistic morons and this story just goes to prove it. The lesson here is think (a little bit more) before you take callous irreversible action.

    • Irwin (part deux)

      You obviously have to immediately change the law in Ohio regarding (large) exotic animal ownership but this cannot take back the damage, abuse and massacre that has already been carelessly rendered. It was plain wrong killing the animals in this way. The world has already been made safe enough as it is and we are living in the most peaceful time in human history (despite what the media tells us is happening in the world today) I say live a little, because pretty soon we’ll be wiping our bums with sterilized wipes for fear of what might happen to us if we didn’t. People used to die from simple illnesses, I think we can temporarily handle seeing some frightened wild animals on the side of the road (in our steel cages) until someone finds their tranquilizers.

  • Anthony Moore

    What do you mean when you say “Animal Control” should have been called?
    Is that the local dog catcher? The Human Society maybe? Who do you suppose has a tranquilizer gun strong enough to stop a full grown lion? How long should the police have waited while zoo officials arrived from Columbus? How far do you think a Jaguar could have run in the couple hours the police “should have waited”? How many school children do you think a Bengal tiger could eat for breakfast?

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