I’m having Internet issues today, so I apologize if this AI seems rushed. Want to try to get something posted for you all to discuss before I lose my connection again.
Well, I’ve recently been following a couple of different intriguing stories in the news dealing with large animals.
One tragic story here in the US yesterday saw the release of dozens of “exotic” animals by a disturbed man in Ohio, who then apparently killed himself. Terry W. Thompson claimed to love exotic animals, and had maintained his backyard zoo for years, before charging the animals with their freedom and then taking his own life.
Lacking the means with which to safely recapture the animals, and to ensure the safety of the citizens of Muskingum County, officials were forced to put many of the escaped animals down.
I won’t post any of the gruesome photos that show the animal carcasses piled up, but it was quite a disturbing sight.
Contrasting the tragic tale in Ohio was the video footage a kayaker captured of blue whales off the coast of Southern California.
By all accounts, this has been an incredible blue whale season in the area. Marine mammal enthusiast have had many close encounters with the enormous mammals from shore and on boats, and from stand-up paddleboards and kayaks. Some of the footage has been amazing, including the first-ever-documented above-surface vocalization.
But for today’s discussion:
Should the average person keep exotic animals in “backyard zoos”? What are the negatives/positives? Have you ever encountered/kept a backyard zoo? What could Ohio officials have done differently? What of the whale watchers? Did the kayaker put himself at risk by paddling so close to the blue whales? Have you ever encountered large sea creatures up close in their natural habitat?