Nevada Public Radio Listen Live

"All Things Considered"
Facebook Twitter Follow Nevada Public Radio

Support Nevada Public Radio
KNPR's State of Nevada About SON Archives Participate Specials
TOP STORIES

Lions And Tigers And Bears ... Oh No!
Lions And Tigers And Bears ... Oh No!

Listen
AIR DATE: January 25, 2013

Motivated in part by the escape and subsequent shooting of “Buddy the Chimp,” Senator Michael Roberson has said he will introduce a bill into the 2013 legislature prohibiting private ownership of chimps, large wild cats and other exotic animals.

At least one local seller of exotic animals thinks he’s capable of responsibly self-regulating his part in the transaction.

“I say no to people every single day,” says pet shop owner Ken Foose. “It’s like an interview. We find out their experience, where they live matters a lot to me, how they conduct themselves when they talk to me. Basically anyone who comes in and says the word ‘dude’ is automatically disqualified.”

Nicole Paquette of the United States Humane Society thinks stricter regulations are in order, however. The HSUS is working with Roberson on crafting the new legislation.

“A lot of unsuspecting individuals go out there, buy a cute cuddly little tiger and then that tiger grows into a 500 pound, 600 pound animal, and is doomed potentially to a life in a small enclosure,” says Paquette. “Nevada needs to do something to change the laws on this issue.”

Paquette adds that potential dog owners go through a screening process when adopting a pet.

“Basically you get more grilled if you go to your local animal shelter, and you will have more restrictions placed on you, if you adopt a dog than you will if you go out and purchase a monkey,” says Paquette.

Foose says that the Humane Society is exploiting the "Buddy the Chimp" episode to lobby for more restrictive regulations.

“The Humane Society, with all due respect, is a cult,” says Foose. “They believe that no one should own an animal, no one should eat animals, and we shouldn’t have any interaction with animals whatsoever.”

Do you think Nevada should regulate ownership of exotic animals? Ban ownership altogether?  Share your comments.

 


LINKS
comments powered by Disqus
COMMENTS:
I think it's obvious with to much regulation we get to lazy and soon don't know how to regulate ourselves. I AM NOT saying no rules no regulations. I am saying we all know we need to find that fine balance to where we are working so we can improve and maybe change and negotiate But we need to work together so we don't get a million bills thrown in our way to trip Us up. I mean these things filled with loopholes and legal tricks I'm sure who knows I'm not a lawyer.This is why we need lawyers and judges just as we need enthusiast everyday people like you and me to Unite in the United States. It's not just this anything restricting OUR Freedom I'll fight viciously I'm tired of being lazy about this how about you?
John AnconaMar 27, 2013 09:11:43 AM
I own cougar tiger ocelot serval caracal geoffroy horses goats on my ranch in texas I have been here for more than 20 years now with these animals and have never had an escape or an injury ever ever Please look at these animals rights people They don't want us to keep even the domestic dogs and cats either
amy rasmussenJan 27, 2013 08:56:06 AM
Look at Ohio. Private owners will not comply - they'll go underground and act illegally. They'll file lawsuits claiming violation of constitutional rights, lose $$ trying to fight common-sense actions that the majority of common citizens support, and they'll lose their case. They'll choose to waste time and money that could have been used to better their animals' lives just to fight for their "right" to contain, control, and deprive wild animals of THEIR rights. Same battle, different battleground. The fact remains that what they are doing in their backyards and basements does not equal what licensed, accredited, science-based zoological institutions and wildlife conservationists are doing to save endangered species. They're only breeding more animals to satisfy their egos, and the egos of others like them . . . oh, and to line their pockets. And they DO pose a public safety threat, especially when they're pressured like Terry Thompson was to actually comply with the law.
foranimalssakeJan 26, 2013 12:17:19 PM
You don't think zoos are lining their pockets? What's that cashier at the gates for? You think they make the food from scratch and don't mark up on the snacks and drinks? Zoos make their money and allow an elitist mentality to flourish. With many of them forgetting they kept exotics prior to becoming caretakers and academics. They aren't any safer either. 3 words; Bronx, zoo, cobra. And what's with all the people climbing into enclosures nowadays? Paquette wants to talk about misinformation. Ha! She's the one with the hit piece talking about pet snakes attacking people in gardens and from toilets. All under a H$U$ letterhead. You can't make this stuff up...wait; she did! The python Challenge has close to 1,000 hunters signed up and in two weeks less than 30 have been captured. Foose is right and the hunt numbers are showing it. Yet H$U$ was eager to use false information that exaggerated the numbers of feral burmese pythons to endorse legislation that made it a felony to simple move a listed constrictor to another state. Again he was right about H$U$ tactics.
BlueJan 26, 2013 16:02:33 PM
There is one federal gov agency , USDA, that regulates the commercial activity regarding exotic mammals thru USDA permit system. All the other accreditations are just non-governmental private clubs accrediting their own kind. Problem in Ohio is that some of these private clubs got exempt from the ban, even though their caging requirements are less than what the Ohio law is mandating from folks who are not exempt, and who need to enlarge their cages if they want to keep their animals/property, that is discrimination. Why is it OK to have smaller cages for the same species and be exempt from the ban, than folks who dont join the private clubs, and they still have the same gov USDA license? Also it is interesting to note that in the last 5 years in USA (since 2007), all 3 captive big cat related human fatalities occurred in these accredited facilities exempt from these types of ban, big zoos or sanctuaries.
ZuzanaJan 26, 2013 18:01:19 PM
Animal ownership is a right that belongs to every human being, as we share the world with the animals. The people in Ohio are taking their animals 'underground' because our relationship with animals trumps most of these laws. These laws they are passing are not 'common sense'. Dozens of legitimate animal facilities in Ohio are shutting down because the law is almost impossible to comply with (and deliberately punitive to animal owners!). This is what happens when the animal rights folks get the upper hand. And o, not a single member of the public came to the hearings in Ohio to support the bill. Only animal rights folks were there. These so-called 'pet owners have a much better safety record and often have a better breeding record than these 'science-based' zoos. And animals are animals; they have no idea what the word 'wild' means. That is a human term. So is 'freedom'.
TimbalionguyJan 26, 2013 22:24:40 PM
The thing is you care for our animals as we do and I respect that. I can tell just by your rant I agree with parts, but the biggest thing is it's not true to say most exotic pet owners keep their animals in unadequit sized cages insect we have to consider the FACT that most animal owners if you care to look at the statistics pride themselves with their animals. I see this as another time they could settle a fair agreement but they won't because they want to always blow stuff out of proportion and get everyone thinking stupid things that don't make any sense just to redirect the true issues.
John AnconaMar 27, 2013 08:36:29 AM
Nicole - Please post a link to the website that sells tigers online. Put up or shut up. I'm so sick of H$U$ lies. . As for a tiger listed for free in the Animal Finder's Guide....I saw an ad like that...it said you must be USDA licensed or they wouldn't even talk to you. So, again, put up or shut up. . . Nicole - Isn't that the pot calling the kettle black? You insinuating that Mr. Foose is "putting worry out there".....And as for misleading info...again, pot, kettle, black.
KarenJan 26, 2013 11:45:03 AM
This is my comment on HSUS, everyone should do their homework on this NON PROFIT animal rights organization, They are NOT a humane society that is national and gives money to all the local humane societies around the country. THEY DO NOT. they do put animals down. THEY are a GIANT lobbyist organization that spends a great deal of their money [donated] on payroll. they have gone after farmers, dog and cat breeders, all exotic owners , public facilities , ringling bros. and on and on to shut them down and with no requard for what happens to the animals, eliminate all animals in captivity. that is from a house cat to an elephant. THEY HAVE AN AJENDA. and it is not for taking care of or saving animmals , it is to eliminate them. I tell everyone to donate to their local humane society , they are commited to help animals. Do they put some to sleep , yes because either they can not place them or they have limited space but they do try to save as many as they can. The is animal abuse of course and there are laws on the books to stop it but for a national organization to mislead the public to get money is criminal and people should be told the truth. They are in the same league as PETA.
marygay chaplesJan 26, 2013 11:29:48 AM
It is a knee jerk reaction on the part of the politian, it gets attention and the MASSES react because exoticS. ARE NOT EVERYDAY NEWS. It is rare so it gets lots of coveraqe. Think about this. people are KILLED,mamed for life,or disfigured by the hundreds every day in auto accidents or criminal acts. NOT MUCH NEWS COVERAGE unless a lot are killed or injured at the same time. But one monkey [who hurt no one] causes a BAN in the state, all he did was get loose. NATION WIDE COVERAGE AND BAN,BAN ,BAN. dosn't that make someone wonder what the real ajenda here is. Anyone with a high school C adverage could think through this , He would be more logical to BAN cars, THEN BAN EXOTICS. ....
marygay chaplesJan 26, 2013 11:12:48 AM
I do not think BANS work and as for private owners ,everyone should be able to own anything they want as long as they meet certain standards. i don't think a person living in a apt. should be able to own a tiger, but then most apt. dwellers sign something in their lease that says if they can even have a cat or bird. that is what i mean about certain standards. bare bone basics.
marygay chaplesJan 26, 2013 11:02:41 AM
No, no more regulation of ownership of exotic animals. Nicole - Where's your proof that the "average" seller's selling "cute, cuddly tiger cubs" to unsuspecting individuals? Have you looked into EVERY tiger sale/every seller? I've never even seen one offered for sale and I read exotic animal brochures, go to exotic animal auctions. Making blanket statements like that, without a single shred of evidence, is what the H$U$ does and it works to get donations from unsuspecting people who believe the lies. As for all exotics being a public safety risk, you are 100% wrong. Eating chicken eggs from the store is more of a risk the public than all exotic animals combined in the USA! FACT that can be checked on the CDCs website. I'm sorry, but if there is one single human over 18 in the USA that is so stupid to believe that they are an "unsuspecting" buyer of a "cute, cuddly tiger cub" thinking it is going to stay small, then they shouldn't be living on their own, they shouldn't be having children, etc. Nicole - There are more restrictions on dog owners because dogs kill on average of 30-35 people EVERY YEAR, with many of them being the "unsuspecting public".
KarenJan 26, 2013 10:54:18 AM
Between 2000-November 2012, there is no record of a member of the general public in the USA dying as a result of a captive bear, elephant, big cat, non-human primate, exotic canine or killer whale at large, meaning, unsupervised and OFF the property where the animals were kept. An animal out of the cage, but still on owners or zoo property, (as in San Francisco, CA, AZA Zoo incident) is not considered AT LARGE for our analysis. Instead, all victims were voluntarily on the property where the animal was kept, be it owner(s), handlers, employees, friends or visitors wanting to see the animals. Captive keeping of wild and exotic mammals might be a slight voluntarily accepted hobby/occupational hazard in the USA, but it is NOT a public safety issue. On average a total of 1.92 people die in the USA per year as a result of all captive bear, big cat, elephant, painted dogs and killer whale related incidents, which accounts for a total of 25 deaths in the last 13 years. There are no human fatalities attributed to the captive non human primates in the USA. To give perspective, dogs kill 20-30 people per year, traffic accidents up to 125 people each day. In the last 13 years, since 2000
ZuzanaJan 26, 2013 09:11:40 AM
I think if someone has the set up, money and the knowledge to keep big animals, they should. It is the same for keeping horses, cattle etc. Some people shouldn't have kids and some shouldn't have dogs or cats. But there are those that have the knowledge and money to keep large cats. HSUS should be reminded that bigs cats have killed people in zoos; are they going to limit the zoos having big cats? There is very little wild left in the world. We are losing the big cats in the wild as well as so many more animals. I just don't understand this "for the public's safety" when it comes to exotics. ATV's have killed children but I doubt if they will ever be banned. Very sad that the government is worried about exotics when they should be worried about the environment, the economy etc.
JanssnakesJan 25, 2013 21:54:21 PM
You are totally correct. In India right now we are losing the Asian leopard at the rate of 4 a week. That is 208 a year!! AZA zoo's do not breed nor display them, and do not list them on the SSP (Species Survival Program) that THEY created!! Only through the help of private owners/zoo's will the Asian Leopard be saved from extinction!!
Mystic JungleJan 26, 2013 09:11:08 AM
You are totally correct. In India right now we are losing the Asian leopard at the rate of 4 a week. That is 208 a year!! AZA zoo's do not breed nor display them, and do not list them on the SSP (Species Survival Program) that THEY created!! Only through the help of private owners/zoo's will the Asian Leopard be saved from extinction!!
Mystic JungleJan 26, 2013 09:11:08 AM
Domesticated animals have been living with humans for thousands of years. Wild animals should not be in captivity, no matter now nice the captivity is; just like human slaves should not be in captivity. If animals who have been captive, can't be returned to the wild, then non-profit sanctuaries, at least in theory, have the animals as their primary concern, rather than profit being the primary concern of other animal users.
Roy RendahlJan 25, 2013 11:17:50 AM
All animals used to be wild. Our captive exotic animals in USA have been bred in captivity for many generations, they have no idea what wild is. As for non profit sanctuaries, it is still captivity and it is IRS tax status, what does non profit status have to do with animal welfare or public safety???
ZuzanaJan 26, 2013 10:23:04 AM
What is God's opinion? Genesis 1:26 Then God said, Let us make man in our image, to be like us. They will reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the wild animals on the earth, and the small animals that scurry along the ground.
Bobby KleinJan 25, 2013 04:39:13 AM
Ligertown SE Idaho 1995
Merrell HulseJan 24, 2013 21:19:55 PM
These creatures are living beings with needs; not inanimate objects or commodities. Those who seek to own them need to be mindful and knowledgeable of this and also be prepared for when these animals become bigger and older. Unfortunately, this is not always the case, as we have learned from a number of tragedies just this past year. Captive exotics have also died or been killed (during escapes) due to human error; their deaths could have been avoided. Folks cite that few humans have died from exotic animal mishaps; however, I very much doubt that is a comfort to the humans whose lives have been permanently altered as a result of these accidents (like Ms. Nash who lost her face and hands from a chimp attack.)
Annoula WylderichJan 24, 2013 11:39:53 AM
The first face transplant was done on a French woman whose face was chewed off by her puppy, by your reasoning, should we ban puppies too? Charla Nash went voluntarily to her friends with chimp house, she was not an unsuspecting public.
ZuzanaJan 26, 2013 10:32:15 AM
You CANNOT buy them online! And yes there are restrictions! You have to volunteer hours, get permits, have your facilities checked!
AnonymousJan 24, 2013 10:39:00 AM
Not true in many, many places... just not true.
foranimalssakeJan 26, 2013 12:09:03 PM
The only reason they ban them in other states is because you've succeeded with your fear tactics. AHHH!
AnonymousJan 24, 2013 10:27:51 AM
In Zainesville, the animals were let loose. Many were killed IN cages.
AnonymousJan 24, 2013 10:22:05 AM
They attack and kill people in the wild too- in their natural habitat....should we ban them from the wild too?
AnonymousJan 24, 2013 10:17:04 AM
I have been coordinating and supplying exotic animals on the Las Vegas strip since 1989. Now we have nearly 3 million people in Clark County, and still only 14 homes zoned for exotic animals. This is far from the "epidemic" that the media wants us to believe exists here. Since most exotic animals are disappearing in the wild at alarming rates, that means captivity is the only remaining ark, and I have discovered there are some easy answers to solving this argument that meets everyone's needs and concerns. Merely banning everything is not the answer, at least not one that benefits the animals.
Joe KrathwohlJan 23, 2013 22:06:49 PM
Joe, if there is a solution that benefits the animals, their owners, and the public, I'm sure many people would be interested in hearing it.
Annoula Jan 24, 2013 11:46:04 AM
© 2014 NEVADA PUBLIC RADIO   
Web hosting facilities provided by Switch.