Tragedy in Zanesville, Ohio, Another Reason Why Exotic Animals Should Not Be Bought or Sold

Governor John Kasich: this is why people should not be allowed to own exotic, non-native animals. Terry Thompson, the owner of an animal park in Zanesville, Ohio, apparently released his collection of animals including 17 Bengal tigers before killing himself. The Zanesville Sheriff ordered his deputies to kill these innocent creatures rather than try to sedate and recapture them. It is tragic that, so far, 50 animals have been killed. It is especially troubling that the 17 Bengal tigers were killed by authorities, because according to National Geographic, there are probably fewer than 2500 left in the whole world. More troubling is the fact that Thompson was allowed to keep these animals despite reports of abuse and his own federal crimes for which he went to prison and was recently released. Would the laws that prevented the buying and selling of exotic animals by individuals that Gov. Kasich allowed to expire earlier this year have prevented Thompson from amassing this collection of animals? I am not sure, because he operated a “zoo” of sorts. However, I believe that this is an indication that a single individual should not have the access and power to perpetuate an event like this. If this means that an individual owns and operates a zoo, then I don’t believe that they should continue to do so. If we must have zoos, they should be institutions with multiple persons responsible for animals and their wellbeing. Individuals can do massively crazy things as what has transpired in Zanesville, or they can do things that are unfortunate like getting themselves or others killed.

Find out more about what happened and what you can on the Humane Society’s website here.

I am a professor of English at the New York City College of Technology, CUNY whose teaching includes composition and technical communication, and research focuses on 20th/21st-century American culture, science fiction, neuroscience, and digital technology.

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Who is Dynamic Subspace?

Dr. Jason W. Ellis shares his interdisciplinary research and pedagogy on Its focus includes the exploration of science, technology, and cultural issues through science fiction and neuroscientific approaches. It includes vintage computing, LEGO, and other wonderful things, too.

He is an Assistant Professor of English at the New York City College of Technology, CUNY (City Tech) where he teaches college writing, technical communication, and science fiction.

He holds a Ph.D. in English from Kent State University, M.A. in Science Fiction Studies from the University of Liverpool, and B.S. in Science, Technology, and Culture from Georgia Tech.

Reach him by email at jellis at citytech dot cuny dot edu.


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