Animal Cruelty-Exotic Animal

Introduction to the Issue:

Cruelty exists all around the world, but many people do not have enough knowledge about animal cruelty also known as animal abuse. This has happened a lot in the United States. There have been many cases of animal abuse, where these poor creatures have been neglected. It not only applies to what we call “house pets” for example dogs, cats, birds, etc. Exotic animals are being affected too; they are being brought to the United States, and being sold as pets. Trafficking exotic animals is a big issue in the United States, and there are many organizations that are trying to prevent this. People do not understand that having an exotic animal in their homes is very dangerous. They are putting themselves and the public in danger. The animals are in more danger since most of them end up being killed. The animal’s behavior is adapted to the wild; they are born with instincts that in some are made to kill to be able to survive. People are not capable of maintaining these animals in their own homes; they have no type of control over them. The only places that should be permitted to having exotic animals are zoos because they have the experts that know the animal’s behavior and how to control them.


Many exotic animals arrive in the United States illegally. Illegal Trafficking in exotic animals is a global business, worth close to $20 billion each year. According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the profit made form illegal trade in wildlife ranks second only to the trade of illegal drugs in the United States.

Exotic Animals killed in Zanesville,Ohio


In Zanesville, Ohio a man named Terry Thompson owned many exotic animals in his farm. There were reports saying that Mr. Thompson was having problems taking care of the animals and had many problems with the law. On October 18, 2011 he released the animals and then committed suicide. The police was called and the only option they had was to kill the animals, at the end of the day 48 animals were killed. Because of this incident many people have realized how dangerous it is to keep these exotic animals in their homes as pets. South Dakota State Veterinarian, Dr. Oedekoven says, “Keeping wild animals is not for the general public. We discourage it". There has been a lot of controversy over this incident in Ohio. Many organizations that try and stop the trafficking of these exotic animals are not pleased that there are states in the United States that do not have any type of laws that prohibit this from happening. The Chief Executive of Born Free USA, Will Travers, says “Ohio is one of only eight states that do not regulate exotic animals”.Something like this had to happen for the governor of Ohio to do something to prevent this from happening again, since now they have reported more than 20 exotic animal farms in that state. The President and Chief Executive of the National Humane Society Wayne Pacelle, says that,"Ohio has become a Wild West situation for the ownership of dangerous animals”. At the end of the day 48 exotic animals were killed by the Ohio police. People still do not understand why the police did not use tranquilizers on these animals. The County Sheriff Matt Lutz, argues that it was getting dark and they did not carry tranquilizers darts with them and the animals were getting very aggressive so they did not have another choice but to kill them. Jack Hanna, former director of the Columbus Zoo, defends Sheriff Matt Lutz for killing the animals by saying, “What was he to do at night time with tigers, lions and leopards, going out there? In the wild, this would be a different situation". Jack Hanna has a point in what he said; this would have never happened if the animals were in their natural habitats and not in Ohio.


Animal cruelty has become a very serious problem in our society today. As humans we have to understand that God made an environment for each animal species for a reason. We cannot bring exotic animals to our homes and expect it to be the same as taking care of a dog or cat. The behavior of these exotic animals is to help them survive. Just by raising these animals when they are a few days old, people think that they will not act the same as if they were raised in their natural habitat with their mothers. The animals are born with this instinct to kill in order to survive, and no one can change that. So we should just leave those animals in their natural habitat, for their safety and ours. As we have seen many animals that are victims of this are being killed, because they have attacked a person or just because they can not be controlled. Maybe people can start thinking of the consequences there will be for taking these exotic animals out of their habitat. Some states have not taken action to stop this problem; they need to start making laws to protect these beautiful exotic animals.

Work Cited:

Fears, Darryl. "Virginia governor vows to examine laws on owning exotic animals." The Washington Post 23 October 2011: 1-3. "Ohio police kill 48 exotic animals – but wolf and monkey still on the loose." The Guardian 19 October 2011: 1-2.
Watson, Mark. "Ohio incident shouldn't drive wild animal policy." Houston Chronicle 7 November 2011: 1-3.
Williams, Greg Bishop and Timothy. "Police Kill Dozens of Animals Freed on Ohio Reserve." The New York Times 19 October 2011: 1-5.

Organizations That Support This: