No Tranq-Guns in Ohio

 Rosana Escobar Brown

The recent slaying of about 50 exotic animals in Ohio has animal lovers (like myself) in an uproar.  While it is obvious that law enforcement officials needed to protect the safety of local residents and also had to follow orders, images of the grizzly scene beg the question…

How could this have been avoided?

For starters, the Ohio police could have had more than a few tranquilizer guns lying around; especially out there in farm country where loose animals pose a real problem.  Ohio even has laws about mandatory reporting obligations when exotic animals escape.  Does this mean that whenever receiving a report that an animal is loose, the authorities just show up guns blazing?  Something is very off here. Continue reading

The Elephant in the Living Room: An Inside Look at Exotic Pet Ownership in the United States

Kelly Kruszewski

In November of 2007, 911 dispatchers in Pike County, Ohio, received a call from an alarmed driver—there was a lion attacking cars on Route 23.  Apparently, the lion escaped from his enclosure and ran toward the local highway.  Terry Brumfield owned the lion whose name was Lambert.  In an article published in the Columbus Dispatch shortly after the incident, Brumfield says: “To me, he’s a big, old house cat. A big, old teddy bear.”

    More can be said of Terry Brumfield and his lions in a documentary by Michael Webber known as The Elephant in the Living Room, which uncovers the subculture of exotic animal ownership in the United States.  The documentary follows Tim Harrison, a Dayton, Ohio, public safety officer with years of experience in dealing with exotic animals and even his own past-ownership of them, of which he refers to as the “dark side.”  The documentary also shadows Terry and his two lions, Lacy and Lambert, whom he took in when they were just cubs.  In 2007, when Lambert escaped his enclosure, Ohio did not require a permit for exotic or dangerous animals.  Currently, in nine states it’s actually legal to own an exotic or dangerous animal and in thirty states there are only some restrictions on licensing and permits.  Continue reading