Target: Ohio Department of Agriculture Director, David T. Daniels
Goal: Quickly place recently seized Siberian tigers in reputable sanctuaries to avoid exploiting or euthanizing them.
Five Siberian tigers need a home after they were recently seized by nearly 30 agents from the Ohio Department of Agriculture, Marion County Sheriff’s Office, the Ohio Division of Wildlife and the Ohio Highway Patrol. The owner of the Paw & Claws Animal Sanctuary was served with a warrant and voluntarily surrendered the animals despite an almost three-year fight to keep the animals at the sanctuary. The animals were tranquilized and transported to a temporary holding facility in Reynoldsberg.
In 2012, Zaynesville animal sanctuary owner Terry Thompson set dozens of lions, tigers, and bears free that were then hunted down and killed by law enforcement personnel. Minimal attempt at tranquilization took place and hunting parties gleefully massacred nearly 50 exotic animals. At the end of the slaughter, 18 Bengal tigers, 17 lions, six black bears, three mountain lions, two grizzlies, two wolves, and a baboon were murdered.
After the Zaynesville slaughter, lawmakers quickly signed a wild animal law which would take effect on Jan. 1, 2014. The Ohio legislature passed tight restrictions on private ownership of dangerous animals and gave current owners of exotic animals sufficient time to become licensed as accredited sanctuaries. Those who did not become accredited in time have had their animals confiscated.
Despite the protracted three-year battle over these tigers, the Department of Agriculture has no plan yet on what will happen to them. The sheer number of responding heavily-armed law enforcement personnel to take possession of five tigers seems to suggest that they were anticipating, or perhaps hoping for, an excuse to hunt the majestic animals in a repeat of the Zaynesville massacre.
There is no central registry of exotic animals living in the United States and no tracking of animals sold. Many exotic animals are sold at auction to the highest bidder and are then exploited at roadside attractions, or worse, sent to hunting ranches where they are murdered in a canned hunt.
Arguably, no exotic animals should be privately owned, captively bred, or exploited for entertainment or amusement. The Ohio Department of Agriculture, however, has a duty and responsibility to ensure that these five Siberian Tigers are rehomed in an accredited sanctuary where they may live out their lives as naturally as possible.
The Ohio law seems to seek to eliminate the possibility of a Zaynesville massacre occurring again, however, they need to quickly determine a relocation plan for the tigers. Euthanasia is not an option. By signing this petition below, you will urge Ohio Department of Agriculture Director David T. Daniels to find homes for these five Siberian tigers.
Dear Director Daniels,
The five Siberian tigers seized in Marion County need to be relocated quickly to reputable and accredited sanctuaries for wild cats. After a three-year battle with the former owner of the tigers, the state of Ohio should have had a relocation plan in place before confiscating them.
There can be no other alternative for these majestic tigers. It was not their choice to be ripped from their mothers, raised by humans, and confined in too-small containment areas. These Siberian tigers should have spent their lives in their natural habitats, prowling forests and hunting for their food. As they would not be able to survive in the wild, releasing them is not a feasible option. You must ensure that these tigers find homes quickly in an accredited animal sanctuary.
I urge you to ensure that these animals are not euthanized nor sold off at auction to ranches where they will be victims of canned hunts. They deserve a better life, not the turmoil they are currently experiencing. Please find sanctuaries for these tigers immediately.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: FPWing