Tiger seized in Ohio an­i­mal crack­down euth­a­nized

Kuwait Times - - HEALTH & SCIENCE -

One of six tigers seized nearly two years ago in a crack­down on ex­otic an­i­mal own­ers in Ohio has been euth­a­nized just months af­ter it was found in poor health and re­moved from a South Dakota sanctuary. The tiger seized from a road­side sanctuary near Toledo in 2015 was among a dozen an­i­mals re­moved from the Spirit of the Hills Wildlife Sanctuary in South Dakota and sent to an­other sanctuary in Colorado.

Fed­eral in­spec­tors said this fall that the tiger had a bleed­ing mass in her mouth that af­fected her abil­ity to eat. Ohio Depart­ment of Agri­cul­ture of­fi­cials said last month the tiger had been get­ting bet­ter in Colorado, but she had to be euth­a­nized on Sun­day be­cause she was suf­fer­ing from an ag­gres­sive form of can­cer, said Mark Bruce, a depart­ment spokesman. Ohio took cus­tody of 11 an­i­mals from Kenny Het­rick’s sanctuary out­side Toledo af­ter of­fi­cials said he ig­nored warn­ings about need­ing a per­mit for the ex­otic an­i­mals. In­spec­tors also re­ported that his cages weren’t se­cure enough to pre­vent an es­cape. His lion named Leo was euth­a­nized a few months af­ter the state seizure be­cause Ohio of­fi­cials said it was in fail­ing health, and the other an­i­mals were moved to sanc­tu­ar­ies in other states. Ohio of­fi­cials hauled away the an­i­mals un­der a new state law that came about af­ter a man in east­ern Ohio re­leased dozens of his ex­otic an­i­mals be­fore killing him­self in 2011.

Het­rick and his fam­ily have been fight­ing the state in court, ar­gu­ing that his an­i­mals were im­prop­erly taken and should be re­turned. A county judge in Novem­ber ruled the state un­fairly de­nied a per­mit to Het­rick, who first be­gan tak­ing in abused and un­wanted an­i­mals dur­ing the mid-1970s. The judge ini­tially told state of­fi­cials to re­turn the tigers, bear and three other big cats within a week, but he later put a hold on the or­der while the state ap­pealed.—AP

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