Animals shot dead included 18 tigers, nine male lions, eight female lions, six black bears, three mountain lions, two grizzly bears, one baboon and two wolves. Three leopards and a few monkeys survived, said Tim Harrison, the Springboro-based animal rescue expert who called the incident the worst of its type in North America. “People have dangerous animals that shouldn’t have them in the first place,” he said following a day helping with the incident.
The Humane Society said that data collected from news reports and government documents indicate Ohio ranks fourth among the states in dangerous incidents involving big cats, bears and primates. Since 1990, at least 29 people in Ohio, including eight children, suffered injuries and one person was killed.
“Every month brings a new, bizarre, almost surreal incident involving privately held dangerous wild animals,” said Wayne Pacelle, president and chief executive of The Humane Society of the United States. “Ohioans have died and suffered injuries because the state hasn’t stopped private citizens from keeping dangerous wild animals as pets or as roadside attractions. It’s time for the delaying on the rulemaking to end.”
Sean Trimbach of Medway operates a federally licensed exotic animal breeding facility. He keeps a Syrian brown bear, red foxes, an African serval cat and exotic pheasants on his 16-acre property.
“It’s terrible. He killed himself and before he did that, he tried to ruin the reputations of good animal keepers. It’s terrible it happened. I am catching flack as an animal keeper. No way this is happening at my place. It will cause headaches for those of us doing it right.”
The Associated Press and The Columbus Dispatch contributed to this report.