Dead Lions, Tigers and Bears, Oh My! (and one Dumbass Governor)

Welcome to Ohio. Please don't step on the dead lions and tigers.

Hi.  Welcome to Ohio.  Our governor is a dumbass..

That’s not exactly a controversial remark.  Republican governor John Kasich is only one dumbass governor among a host of dumbass governors.  He’s got plenty of company and competition for who is the Biggest Dunbass Governor with Scott Walker (Wisconsin), Rick Scott (Florida) and Rick Perry (Texas) all putting in work to claim the crown but for downright dumb assery to the power of 10, you have to go some to be a bigger dumbass than Kasich was a few weeks ago when due his stupidity Ohio became the big game hunting Mecca of the Midwest.

ZANESVILLE, OhioAuthorities in Muskingum County say they have recovered most of the exotic animals that were running loose since they were set free, apparently by their owner, last night.

The owner of the exotic animal farm, Terry Thompson, was found dead yesterday in his house. Sheriff Matt Lutz said Thompson apparently opened the cages to release all of the animals, then committed suicide. He died of a gunshot wound. Lutz said Thompson’s body was “bothered” by the animals.

Thompson not only opened the cages, but cut the cage wire so the animals would escape again if returned to their cages.

Lutz announced that authorities believe only two animals remain missing this afternoon — a monkey and a wolf. The sheriff previously said a grizzly bear and mountain lion were missing. Today, authorities confirmed they killed the bear on the property last night. An officer wounded the mountain lion, which staggered into a neighbor’s property and died.

Some animals were still in cages at Thompson’s farm when authorities arrived. Some of those animals, including three leopards and some primates that were living in the house, are being taken to the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium.

At one point, Thompson took three lion cubs to New York City for a photo shoot with model Heidi Klum. On another occasion, he brought animals to a 2007 community pet fair in Muskingum County. Thompson and his wife brought bear cubs, lions cubs and a baby ape, Hostetler said.

He said the wild animals disrupted the fair because they weren’t friendly.

“We had to change the advertisement in following years to say bring your domestic pets,” Hostetler said. “He was a piece of work.”

I strongly disagree with this characterization of the late Mr. Thompson.  He wasn’t a “piece of work.” He was a piece of shit and our governor is a total dumb-ass.

It’s a real tragedy. You hate to think of these animals being gunned down, but the irresponsible prick who owned them (or caged them might be a better word), had a history of not caring for them.  Ohio has no rules regulating the sale and ownership of exotic animals.

An executive order that Kasich allowed to lapse after taking office would have prevented Thompson from owning exotic animals. The order, issued by Gov. Ted Strickland but permitted to expire by Kasich last spring, prohibited anyone who had been “convicted of an offense involving the abuse or neglect of any animal pursuant to any state, local, or federal law” from owning exotic animals.

Thompson, the owner of the more than 50 animals set free in Muskingum County, had an animal cruelty and two other related convictions in 2005.

What began as a tragedy turned in a farce and it was preventable.  Ohio became the object of scorn from around the nation and beyond the nation for what happened in Zanesville. There were even death threats made against Columbus Zoo director emeritus Jack Hanna for not providing tranquilizer guns to the deputies.  Hanna explained wild animals can still be dangerous after being shot with a tranquilizer, but he was still criticized by animal lovers horrified at the slaughter of 48 lions, tigers, bears and wolves.

This is blaming the wrong person.  What are small town cops in a rural part of the state supposed to do with  wild animals on the loose?   I doubt they enjoyed having to kill them, but protecting the citizens from being mauled by a grizzly bear or tiger had to be their first priority.  It was a dirty job but thanks to Kascih’s stupidity, they had to do it.

Criticism for Kasich came from both the expected places (PETA, Humane Society) and the completely unexpected in unapologetic hunter and Right wing rock n’ roller, Ted Nugent.

Nugent, who is known for his support of gun ownership and hunting rights, said Kasich should never have ended an executive order from the previous governor that banned exotic animal ownership.

“These are real, wild, dangerous, capable and dangerous animals and they belong in the wild,” Nugent told The Detroit News Wednesday.

“I think it’s a downright tragedy when people attempt to keep dangerous wild animals in captivity — I think it should be criminal,” he said.

Nugent is as far to the Right as I am to the Left, but he knows all Kasich had to do was leave Strickland’s executive order in place and this all could have been averted.  Alas, he didn’t and once again Ohio makes headlines again for all the wrong reasons.

Kasich’s stupidity literally reduced the world’s tiger population.   This isn’t the kind of story that costs politicians their jobs, but you sure get a sense of how well or poorly they do their jobs.

The right thing to do would be to man up and admit he screwed up, but Kasich comes from the school of “Never Apologize, Never Explain.”  And never admit it’s your fault when you can pass the buck.  That’s what a dumbass does.

Welcome to Ohio and don't feed the wild animals..

Speaking at a conference in Canton, Ohio, today, Kasich called the situation “a mess” and a “ terrible thing,” but took no blame for allowing Strickland’s order to lapse.

He added: “This has to be fixed.”

“This is unbelievable that this even existed, and what’s hard for me to understand is why Ohio over time didn’t deal with this, but we’ll deal with it now.”

Kasich said he would push a task force working on an exotic-animals law and regulations to move more quickly. He said the state also should deal with animal auctions being held around the state and do background checks on exotic-animal owners.

“If there’s some way I could’ve prevented it, I would. But what we have to do is move forward and make sure we can clearly limit anything like this in the future.”

The buck doesn’t stop at Governor Kasich’s desk. He just keeps on passing it.   Next week he’s going to be on the receiving end of a major humiliation when his signature legislative act, the anti-union Senate Bill 5 is defeated in next week’s elections.

It’s hard to stand out from the idiocy of the many dumbasses driving down the I.Q. of the states they’re running into the ground, but John-Boy is no ordinary dumbass.  He keeps finding new ways to prove it’s hard to top his special brand of stupidity.