Sunday, October 23, 2011


Here are a few examples of animals that I think you should never keep as pets.  Some people may have different opinions on this subject, but I'm pretty sure my opinion is the best one, and people who disagree can just go write their own blogs!

Some of Mr. Thompson's lions
  1.  Lions
  2.  Tigers
  3.  Bears
  4.  Elephants
  5.  Chimpanzees
  6.  Wolves
  7.  Bison
  8.  Bulls
  9.  Elk
10.  Dinosaurs
11.  Alligators
12.  Crocodiles
13.  Poisonous snakes

Mr. Thompson's bear
These animals might be cute when they are little, but then they grow up to be wild animals, because that's what is in their genes, and they can't help it.  And after they get grown up, they eat lots of food and they need really strong cages or fences, so it's expensive to keep them around.  Plus someday they might suddenly bite your arm off or even kill you.  I have watched Fatal Attraction on the Animal Planet, and I know these things!

Mr. Thompson's lions
Probably you heard that story last week about the man in Zanesville, Ohio who let a bunch of his exotic animals loose and then he killed himself.  This man's name was Terry Thompson, and it sounds like he probably felt closer to his animals than he did to other people.  His neighbors didn't like him much, and they were always complaining to the police about the wild animals.  Mr. Thompson had been in trouble before whenever one of his animals would get out, but he was only fined $75 each time, so it was no big deal.  Also he had been accused of animal abuse and neglect because the cages weren't very clean, and the animals weren't being fed enough.

Then Mr.  Thompson got arrested for having a whole lot of automatic weapons without the proper registration.  So he had to go to prison for a year.  When he got out of jail, he and his wife were in debt for at least $68,000 in taxes that they hadn't paid, which likely made him feel depressed.  No one knew how he even got enough money to take care of the animals anyway.

So he killed himself, but before he did, he let all the animals loose.  No one knows exactly why he did this, but maybe he was getting some kind of revenge on the community.  Anyway, all these animals started roaming around, and people saw lions and bears in their back yards, and they called the police.

The police rushed right over to Mr. Thompson's house, and they would have liked to save the animals, but there were tigers and grizzlies coming right at them, so they ended up shooting the animals.  Some veterinarians with tranquilizer dart guns came from the Columbus Zoo, but it was almost dark by the time they got there, and it was raining.  So it would have been pretty risky to try to tranquilize the animals, since they could have got away before the tranquilizer made them sleepy.

One of Mr. Thompson's leopards
that was captured
By the next morning, 3 leopards, a grizzly bear, and 2 monkeys had been captured and taken to the Columbus Zoo.  The other 48 animals got killed, including 18 Bengal tigers, 6 black bears, 2 grizzlies, a wolf, a baboon, and 3 mountain lions.  The saddest part was the Bengal tigers getting shot because Bengal tigers are endangered, as I told you last year, during the Year of the Tiger.  The animals who were killed got buried on Mr. Thompson's land.

A very sad slaughter
Anyway, maybe you are wondering how a person gets so many exotic animals in the first place, and why there aren't more laws to keep this from happening.  Well, it turns out that there are 5 states that have very weak laws, or none at all, about owning wild animals, and one of these states is Ohio.  Since 2005, at least 9 people in Ohio have been injured, and one person was killed, by exotic pets.  Another state with weak laws is Missouri, the state where I live.  So that's kind of scary!  The other states are Nevada, North Carolina, and Oklahoma.

In Missouri, you just have to get a federal, state, or county permit, and then you can own an exotic animal.  For $8,000 you can buy a baby tiger, or if you prefer a snow tiger, you can get one for $30,000.  One place these animals come from is traveling petting zoos.  But the baby lions and tigers are only safe and cute to have there from ages 8 to 12 weeks.  After that, the petting zoo owners want to get rid of the animals because if they don't, they are stuck paying $10,000 a year to take care of each animal.

A Thompson bear that was captured
and sent to the zoo
So people buy a tiger cub or a baby chimpanzee, and then it grows up to be an adult, and the people can't really deal with it anymore because it may be destructive and dangerous.  This is when the people try to find a sanctuary for their exotic animal, but the sanctuaries are all full.  Also some of them have shut down because of the economy.  So there's no good place to get rid of your lion or your python.  In Florida, people started just letting their pythons loose in the swamps.  The pythons loved this environment, and laid lots of eggs, and now they have become an "invasive species."

Anyway, it seems to me like all of these problems could be avoided by making laws that say you can't have exotic pets.  If you want a nice pet, you can just go to your local shelter and adopt a dog or cat.  Or if you want something bigger, you can get a goat or a horse.  That's what I think everybody should do, and I don't have any more to say about the subject right now.


  1. Yes!! I agree with you 100% Piper; NO ONE should own a wild animal(s). The guy in Ohio who owned all the wild animals must have been one sick, etc., individual. While watching the news on the Ohio situation, the broadcaster did an interview with Jack Hanna(sp) and I've never seen him so heartsick. I must be honest, when I saw all the animals piled up...after being killed I was heartsick too!! To be perfectly honest, I once owned a "rooster" when I was around 5-6 years old...but I only had it for 2 days. I was very sad when I had to give the rooster to our egg man, but my mom and dad did a "fairly" good job of explaining it to me. I'm glad that you wrote on this subject, as it is sooo important!! Good job Piper.
    Love, AP

  2. Dear Aunt Patty,
    I am glad you agree with me 100% because that is the very best percentage of agreement! My mom told me she "rescued" a baby robin when she was about 8 years old, but she and her parents didn't really know how to take care of it, so it died. Mom was sad, and she learned her lesson about not trying to keep wild things as pets. I think Mr. Thompson loved his animals, but the result in the end was bad for everybody.
    Love, Piper

  3. I hate when people think they can adopt while animals... Like chipanzees, I heard one ripped a lady's face of, you should read about it.
    Oh and I have a wisdom tooth that is wiggling but my mom is such a KNOW IT ALL to take me to a dentist just like that scalp acne I have on my head (painless) could it be skin cancer? and the wisdom tooth, how will I get it out with out a dentist?

    You are the dog of answers and research because I can't go through all that research because my mom wont let me. It is sooo ANNOYING when grown ups think they know everything for all I know me being sick could be a serious matter


  4. Dear Tas,
    I heard about the woman who got her face ripped off by the chimpanzee. It was on "Fatal Attractions" on the Animal Planet. Anyway, she got a face transplant, and she still looked really awful, at least in my opinion. I felt very sorry for her. It wasn't even her chimpanzee. It was her stupid friend's chimpanzee.

    Your mom loves you, and that is why she is always taking you to the doctor. That wisdom tooth might have long roots or something, so maybe it would not come out easily, like a baby tooth. My mom had to have her wisdom teeth cut out because they were growing in sideways. She says that was not fun! I don't have any wisdom teeth, so I guess that means I am not wise. LOL

    I hope you don't have skin cancer on your head. That would not be good. Your mom might be worrying a little too much, but it's better to be safe than sorry. At least that's what people say!

    Your friend, Piper

  5. By Know it all I mean my mom won't even BOTHER to take me to the doctor she says it is nothing. SOME GROWN UP won't take a kid to the doctor