In the days following the tragic events in Ohio, a number of Hollywood celebrities have stepped into the spotlight to share their feelings on the killing of several dozen exotic wild animals after they were released by an owner who then killed himself.
Earlier this week, Terry Thompson released his stock of 50 wild animals that included full-grown Lions, Bengal Tigers, Grizzly Bears, Wolves and Monkeys among others. Thompson then shot himself to death a few hours before dark. That evening law enforcement officials who responded to complaints by neighbors found Thompson dead and animals roaming the property. Most of the animals were killed that night while officers were under shoot-to-kill orders.
It wasn’t long after the ordeal was over that PETA issued its obligatory press release condemning the events as an example of why people should be prevented from owning exotic pets. And then, one after another, celebrities turned to the Twitterverse to express their dismay.
Leonardo DiCaprio, long a supporter of wildlife causes, including the plight of the rare Bengal Tiger, used Twitter as his medium. “Sad situation & proof we need better regulation to protect both animals & people NOW,” he tweeted. A follow-up message urged his fans to join the World Wildlife Fund’s Conservation Action Network.
Rocker Slash questioned the decision to kill many of the animals. “I get the situation, but there’s no way it was totally necessary to exterminate 49 loose exotic animals in Ohio, he tweeted.
Lindsey Lohan’s ex, Samantha Ronson, asked: “Did they really have to kill them?”
But world-renowned animal handler Jack Hanna, who was the only actual celebrity on the ground in Ohio assisting in the effort, had this to say about the county sheriff’s decision to kill. He told Diane Sawyer: “I’m sorry to say, but what the sheriff did had to be done. Otherwise, we would have had carnage out here in Zanesville, Ohio.”
George Takei tried a light comedic touch in tweeting, “Lions and tigers and bears escape from an Ohio preserve. Oh Myyyy!”
Acerbic comedian Joel McHale – of Talk Soup fame – kept up his shtick. “Monkey w/herpes still loose in Ohio. Q: How do they know? Did dead owner leave a note? Monkey has herpes. Good luck!”
Q.E. Mansfield is thankful for the Internet because it allows him to make his living chronicling contributions to society made by celebrities. He’s a fan of technology, specially in area of Marcellus shale drilling, space, cosmology, and other advance tech.