Zanesville Case Renews Old Questions About Exotic Pets

Deputies say Terry Thompson committed suicide after releasing many of his exotic animals.(Photo: US Justice Dept.)
Deputies say Terry Thompson committed suicide after releasing many of his exotic animals.(Photo: US Justice Dept.)

Rescue organizations say the economic downturn is contributing to a problem that’s existed for as long as exotic animals have been kept as pets.

Sanctuaries say they have neither the space, nor the financial wherewithal, to come to the rescue of owners who can no longer care for their big cats, monkeys or even parrots. Some sanctuaries have even closed their doors.

That’s contributed to the population of unwanted, difficult-to-place beasts that can cost $10,000 a year or more to maintain.

The case of a Zanesville man who opened the cages of dozens of lions, tigers and other wild creatures at his preserve Tuesday has renewed
old questions about the exotic animal trade.

 

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