Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Plattsmouth, NE
Sure--large carnivores are a pretty obvious danger. The issue I have is when people lump them in with everything else. "Dangerous wild animals" should not include boa constrictors, monitor lizards, small wild cats, etc. Those animals can bite and cause injuries, but they're not killers. Even the giant constrictors pose only a small occupational hazard to their handlers and people in the home, and none to the public. No one's ever been killed by an escaped python.
When you consider the risks objectively, how many more dangerous things are we exposed to in daily life, than lions, tigers, and bears? The number of people who even want to, or can, keep them is so small, that the odds of anyone being harmed are simply miniscule. The animal release in Ohio was very tragic...and no human was harmed.
Of course, that fellow should not have had the animals in the first place. I do firmly believe that there should be a '2 strikes and you're out' rule for violations of safe house and proper care for these types of animals. That, too, would have prevented this, and no one who loves keeping these animals could object to it. The individual who released the animals, and then killed himself, had been charged with neglect or cruelty already.
The solution to that is not to ban keeping the animals, it's to enforce the existing laws properly.
0.5 people are killed (on average) each year in the US by captive giant snakes. (Less than one). Around 1 person is killed each year by wild mountain lions. Actual wildlife is a bigger public threat than captive wildlife. 30 people are killed each year by dogs.
3 by all exotics combined.
All of these threats from animals, added up together, are laughably small numbers when compared with simple every day hazards that we take for granted. 70 people die of burns they sustain in the BATH TUB each year....
Focusing on exotics as a public threat is a massive red herring that is used to distract the public from REAL issues.