Terry Thompson unlocked cages on his Zanesville preserve before committing suicide on Tuesday (18Oct11) and his exotic animals escaped to the nearby countryside, causing a 24-hour headache for state law officials and wildlife experts.
The big-game hunt ended after police officers shot and killed 49 of the animals for fear they would harm humans.
Now PETA bosses feel it would be a good idea to use Crowe’s new movie to highlight the problems of taking in exotic, non-domesticated animals – something Damon’s character does in the film.
Lisa Lange, PETA’s Vice President, tells WENN, “We Bought a Zoo conveys the misleading and downright dangerous message that no special knowledge – just a lot of heart – is needed to run a zoo. As the tragedy in Ohio gruesomely illustrates, wild animals aren’t Disney characters. They have very special needs that all too often aren’t met by people who buy them on a whim because they think it would be cool to own a tiger.”
Lange has written to Crowe and the movie’s producers in the hope of persuading him to make it clear that inexperienced animal handlers should never even entertain the idea of buying an exotic pet.