This whole business of people harboring dangerous predators within predation range of other people’s homes leaves me kind of speechless. Lions, for instance. Fully-grown, fully-functional lions, rather annoyed I should think by the sudden, severe shortage of water buffalo in their vicinity.
I listened to part of a Diane Rehm Show interview yesterday with Zuzana Kukol (President of the oxymoronically named Responsible Exotic Animal Ownership, REXANO), Andrew Wyatt (President of USARK – United States Association of Reptile Keepers) and Wayne Pacelle (CEO & President of the Humane Society of the United States).
Pacelle was not happy. He said that millions of dollars in private donations are spent each year “cleaning up the mess” made by the Kukols and Wyatts of the world. Kukol disowned the mess, saying that she and her colleagues at REXANO know what they’re doing. Her rural neighbors and local law enforcement officials are on board, too, she said. Everybody approves. Everybody’s happy. Predators included.
What’s more, as statistics posted at REXANO.org make quite clear, the average person stands almost no chance of death by privately owned lion. Same with tigers. Same with 1,700-pound Kodiak bears.
I guess that settles that.
But would these same private zookeepers balk, I wonder, if the law allowed me to breed plague bacteria upwind of them recreationally? Would it be enough for me to say that I’d taken proper precautions? And excuse me, but doesn’t the concept of reckless endangerment apply here somewhere?