Yesterday morning, when the story first broke about the exotic animal farm in Ohio where the owner was found dead, with all his cages left open, there was a lot of joking around the internet about how this was going to finally justify all the .375 H&H's folks had been buying in the Mid-West.
Turns out that is exactly what's been going on for the last day. In what I think is a very ballsy, but very correct decision, the local Sheriff had his folks out with shoot-to-kill orders, and so far, they had done a very good job of accounting for the released animals, with just a single monkey still being on the loose.
It's a bummer. Among the animals put down were six black bears, two grizzlies, a wolf, a baboon and three mountain lions, 17 LIONS, and 18 Bengal Tigers.
The tigers are really the only thing that come close to having people up in arms, since the number of these animals believed to exist in the wild is down to about 1400. The call had to be made though. If one of these tigers slipped away into the night, and killed some kids waiting to get on the school bus 30 miles away, this Sheriff would never hear the end of it.
Even Jack Hanna of Tonight Show fame, while mourning the loss of these 18 tigers, defended the decision by Sheriff Matt Lutz.
Reports from the initial responders to the site sound pretty hairy. One deputy, Jonathan Merry, who arrived at the scene to investigate a dead body and a few wild animals running around, had to kill a wolf and a black bear with his pistol...the black bear at a distance of 7 feet. That's some steady nerves.
I'm just curious if these guys were out there with their .223's or if they were 'deputizing' folks coming in with their Just in Case I get to Africa guns. I know if something like this happened here, I'd volunteer to be out there with my Whelen...