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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Assorted Bits & Pieces: The Beasts Are In the Street!

Franco Prosperi's gore laden and late blooming Nature Gone Wild flick THE WILD BEASTS (Camera Obscura's restored DVD is coming soon; [1983]) has become a case of reality imitating art after dozens of exotic animals escaped from a private wild animal preserve in Zanesville, Ohio after the owner unlocked their cages before committing suicide. It's a literal "Lions, Tigers and Bears, Oh, my" as an estimated 48 animals are on the loose spread out over a town with a population of around 25,000 residents. Among the aggressive beasts on the loose are cheetahs, wolves, lions, black bears, grizzly's and a Siberian tiger.

Reports say the animals were last fed on Monday and residents of Zanesville were ordered to stay in their homes till the situation is under control. Schools were also closed. Reportedly nearly all the animals have been found and shot at this time. While the out of control beasts of Prosperi's film were running amuck after their water supply was laced with PCP, the owner of this exotic animal preserve had a prior arrest for animal cruelty. Similarly, there was also a 1978 Made For TV movie entitled MANEATERS ARE LOOSE! about two Bengal tigers unleashed on a California town. A tiger on the prowl was also the center of attention in the suspenseful BURNING BRIGHT (2010) about a mother and her son attempting to elude a tiger that stalks them inside the house they've been trapped inside of.

Going back to this literally wild news story, the potential for a mass amount of human casualties was thankfully avoided, but it's a shame that these animals had to be put down. It does raise questions as to how many, if any were actually tranquilized as opposed to being killed and why those animals shot down couldn't have been saved considering tranquilizers were reportedly on sight. It also bears asking as to why this man was allowed to contain so many animals you'd commonly find in Africa or within the safe confines of a zoo. So if you live in a town with an eccentric wild animal wrangler, be careful every time you step outside; it's a jungle out there!

*All images from google images*


R.A.M.'67 said...

That recent Animal Planet program Fatal Attractions had its fair share of horror stories of people owning and/or feeding wild and exotic animals. Despite having onscreen advisories, the producers seemed to alternate between frowning upon and (subtly) glorifying these people.

It's wishful thinking this extraordinary event will put the kibosh on this phenomenon, but you never know. Here's hoping!

Erich Kuersten said...

There's a good documentary on this called THE ELEPHANT IN THE LIVING ROOM. (I just reviewed it today on BL- synchronicity!) Apparently Ohio has almost no restrictions against buying, breeding, owning, and selling dangerous wild animals, and events like the one you report are common there.

venoms5 said...

@ R.A.M.: You'd think an arrest for animal cruelty would have been enough, but apparently not. I'll have to look for that show. Not sure I've seen it! I do feel bad that these animals were killed as opposed to capturing them all considering it was said tranquilizers were on sight. I think some of them were captured, just not sure how many. Reportedly, one of the monkey's that's still on the loose carries a strain of Herpes!

@ Erich: Great post! I just read all of it! I assumed it was illegal everywhere to import exotic animals without a special permit, but I have heard of people doing it online and getting away with it.

raculfright_13 said...

Heh, I watched Wild Beasts on Friday and enjoyed it. After I told a friend I watched it, she tells me about this psycho freeing his exotic animals in a city before killing himself. That's so wild! (really!)

venoms5 said...

Wow, that's pretty wicked, raculfright! I'm anxious to get my hands on the Camera Obscura DVD. It should be out next month, I think.

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