As you’ve probably heard, an Ohio man released his 56 exotic pets shortly before he turned a gun on himself. Ohio officials were given the difficult task of hunting and killing Bengal tigers, bears, lions, and other animals.
This incident will probably increase the chances of a proposed Pennsylvania exotic animals law that would ban almost all private ownership of these animals. The proposed bill passed a House committee last spring and is awaiting action in the full chamber, reports The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Under current state exotic animals law, ownership of most large wild animals like bears and big cats requires a license. The state does not issue licenses freely, as only 28 licenses have been given out. And to receive a license, applicants must complete a rigorous application and undergo annual inspections by the Pennsylvania Game Commission, reports the Inquirer.
However, after an Allentown woman was mauled to death by a pet black bear in 2009, the legislature drafted the proposed ban on exotic animals.
If passed, Pennsylvania exotic animals law would be in marked contrast to Ohio law where someone doesn't even need a permit to keep a tiger. Instead, you just need the money to pay for the large pet, reports the Inquirer.
While the most recent Ohio incident has brought national attention to the problem of keeping exotic animals as pets, smaller incidents of mauling and animal abuse have occurred on an almost daily basis throughout the country. For example, just last week a Texas boy was mauled to death by a pet mountain lion.