When big cats attack

Posted on November 06 2019 by

Ethan Wolf

in the Animals in the wild blog

October 2011, Zanesville, Ohio. Terry Thompson released 49 wild animals in captivity on his property and then committed suicide. The local sheriff’s department was not prepared or trained to capture the animals. All of the animals were killed. Among the dead were 18 Bengal tigers, 17 lions, six black bears, two grizzlies, three mountain lions, two wolves, and one baboon.

Pictured: A child poses for a photo with a captive tiger. 

Across the United States, individuals just like Terry Thompson continue to breed and keep big cats like lions and tigers. Many of these majestic animals are drugged and used as selfie props. When they are too big and too strong, they are sold into the so-called exotic pet industry. They often languish in basements and backyard cages, too big for households and too dangerous to be in contact with humans and family pets. Other big cats are killed for their body parts to be sold to collectors or to make traditional medicine.

In September, many of you answered our call to action by contacting your Representatives and encouraging them to add their support to HR 1380: Big Cat Public Safety Act. Since that time, the bill was voted out of the Committee on Natural Resources. It now needs to be scheduled for a vote by the House of Representatives. And, in the past few weeks, it has gained more co-sponsors. Currently, 215 Representatives are co-sponsors. Only 218 votes are needed to pass the bill. Your voices were heard; we can help stop this cruelty.

The Big Cat Public Safety Act would end this cruelty that occurred in Zanesville, Ohio. Through breeding prohibitions, licensing requirements, and prohibitions on direct animal contact, the Big Cat Public Safety Act can help make the big cats currently in private ownership the last generation. The bill can also help ensure that Zanesville, Ohio is the last mass slaughter of captive wild animals in the United States.

By helping to protect big cats, you will be ensuring that these animals are no longer subjected to drugging, no longer being torn away from their mothers shortly after birth, and no longer being confined for the entertainment and amusement of humans.

Please visit our Big Cat Public Safety Act page for more information on how you can continue to help protect big cats.

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