Another Tragedy Waiting to Happen?

For once, I’m in agreement with Francione: This is what happens when under the law a living being is merely a piece of property. It will be interesting to see how the animal advocacy community responds to this.

State officials will return five surviving exotic animals to a woman whose husband released dozens of wild creatures before committing suicide.

Once the animals are returned to Thompson, nothing in Ohio law allows state officials to check on their welfare or require improvements to conditions in which they are kept, Pitchford said.

The local humane society could intervene with help from the county prosecutor if there were an investigation into animal cruelty, she said.

“While repeated appeals have been made to local authorities to seek a court order to inspect the Thompson party to ensure the safety of the animals and the public, so far, no such local action has been taken,” Pitchford said.

Thompson is the widow of Terry Thompson, who released 56 animals – including black bears, mountain lions and Bengal tigers – from his eastern Ohio farm Oct. 18 before he committed suicide. Fearing for the public’s safety, authorities killed 48 of the animals.

Three leopards, two Celebes macaques and a bear survived and were taken to the zoo. One spotted leopard had to be euthanized at the zoo in January.

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