Ohio's New Facility for Seized Exotic Animals Features Tight Security
A new high-security building outside Columbus, Ohio, is equipped with cameras, steel cages and a giant fence with electrified wire – all built to hold tigers, snakes and other exotic animals confiscated under a new Ohio law, The Associated Press reports.
The law requires owners to register exotic animals such as lions, tigers and some snakes. Any confiscated animals would be temporarily housed at the new Dangerous Wild Animal Temporary Holding Facility.
Officials can seize animals if the owners don’t meet state requirements or are found housing animals without permits.
The new law came about after a suicidal eastern Ohio man released dozens of bears, mountain lions and tigers from his farm near Zanesville in 2011. Fearing for the public’s safety, authorities killed 48 of the animals, including black bears, Bengal tigers and African lions.
The new facility cost $2.9 million to build and was finished in less than three months. Security will be tight and access limited; the facility will not be open to the public, AP reports.
However, it is unknown how many animals the facility will house – there are no reliable numbers for how many exotic animals and snakes are in the hands of private owners in Ohio.
Staff from the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium will feed and clean up after the animals each day, and State Veterinarian Tony Forshey will run the facility, AP reports.
Healthy animals seized or surrendered will be sent to sanctuaries and other facilities across the U.S.