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January 30, 2012

Talk Back: Saving Tigers and Defending Wolves

Rescued tiger at Black Beauty Ranch
Kathy Milani/The HSUS
A rescued tiger at Black Beauty Ranch.

Lions, chimps, Burmese pythons, and other large, powerful wild animals do not belong in our basements or our backyards. We’ve been saying that for a long time, but after the bizarre and reckless release of more than 50 dangerous exotics at Zanesville, Ohio, by their owner Terry Thompson, there’s a newfound understanding of the urgency of this problem across the country. This year, we’ll be concentrating energy on public education and legislation in the seven states that place no restrictions on wild animal ownership for use as pets, and we’ll be working to plug gaps in other state laws.

Last week, The HSUS rescued 11 large exotics from a squalid zoo in Mississippi and transported five of them to our Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch (see our new video of the rescue). It underscores for me how critical it is that we have strong policies to prevent the need for rescue and long-term care of animals like these. Our movement spends tens of millions of dollars every year caring for discards from the exotic animal industry, and policy-makers must understand this is an unfunded burden placed on the philanthropic community.

Many of you see the importance of balancing rescue work with policies to prevent these problems from occurring in the first place:

I have personally been to that "zoo" as a child; it is god-awful. They were supposed to close it down. But as seen, that never happened. They think they are doing a good thing but they are not. It’s sad. ―Kat Edwards

Glad those animals [three tigers and two wolf-hybrids] are headed to Black Beauty, where I know they will be very well looked after. I've been there a few times, and am very impressed with the facility and staff. ―Chemyn Reaney

Thank you, thank you for rescuing these beautiful animals from the horrid living conditions...cramped cages...not being fed properly or proper care. I pray these animals can live the rest of their lives in a happy environment. They deserve it.―Cindy Errington

I just don't even know what to think or say anymore! This is just plain idiotic that people are even allowed to have these types of animals. This has got to stop! These animals need to be left where they belong...in the wild! PERIOD! Please thank the above-mentioned sanctuaries for helping these animals. Also, thank your rescue team too, they are always so amazing! May God bless all of you and the animals too! ―Karen Wagner

 

You also had a lot to say about my harsh review of "The Grey," which demonizes wild wolves and paints a false portrait of these animals. The issue is not that wolves molest or harm us, but that we are molesting and harming them, whether it’s aerial gunning, trapping, or sport hunting of these predators. Except for the cast of “The Grey,” people don’t eat wolves. The killing is driven by our irrational fear and hatred of these animals:

They killed wolves for artists to get into the character? Hollywood should be ashamed. They should take it up during [the] Oscars! It's disgusting. ―Suresh Mathew

Thank you for this report. My husband and I rarely go to the movies, but after reading Roger Ebert’s review this morning, I thought we might view this one. Now, I don’t think so! ―Sharon Galbraith

Wolves are amazingly intelligent animals. It is good to see them making a comeback in certain areas of the United States, although they are still targeted and need to be saved.―Igor Purlantov

I am NOT going to see this movie but if I ever do catch it on late night TV, I will absolutely be rooting for the wolves! ―Inken Purvis

I've been disturbed, seeing the previews for this film. Your article confirms my worst fears. Boycott ‘The Grey’! ―Amy Bates

I cringed when I heard about this movie; as if things weren't bad enough for wolves these days. ―Judy Pizarro

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