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Letter to the Editor

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There's nothing exotic about big cats

By The Staff

To the editor:

I would like to respond to the article titled "The Truth about Exotic Animals". To myself and many others this matter of what is being referred to as "Exotic Animals" (I call Wild Untamed Meat Eating Cats) in a residential area is a real and possible danger to all concerned and not to be taken lightly at all.

Don't get me wrong. I love going to zoos and to such places as Lion Country Safari; however, even these highly secured sites have had these big cats escape. Look it up on the internet and see how many have actually escaped. Not only escaped but in some cases had to be killed instead of just returned to their cages.

They are wild animals that should not be left in cages, not able to roam free and hunt naturally. Instead they are caged, fed like a pet and don't know that they are (if they escape) supposed to act like a tamed pet. Their instincts will kick in and will hunt and kill the first prey that is in sight. I think Siegfried and Roy found out that their pets will attack to kill at anytime and are not tamed kitty cats.

And the reference to the first responders was so off the wall and ignorant. A dog protecting his family could possibly bite an emergency responder especially when there is fear, confusion and strangers barging in. However in fear, confusion and strangers rushing into the Exotic Animal Center you would get the big cats going and wanting to fiercely get out of there cages and given an opportunity to escape they would not just bite a first responder they would kill as their instincts would kick in. And don't tell me that animals don't react to fear. There is a big difference and should be a definite concern to all.

Now maybe the rumor that Billar/Davis are thinking of opening up as an Exotic Animal Educational Center for the public and school trips is the real reason they don't want any bad publicity. They probably need the money to pay for the food and maintenance that is needed 24/7 there.

And I for one and my family would not be going. Would you? Read the articles on the escaped big cats and decide if you would want them and if you and your family would feel safe if this was right outside your back door in plain sight. Sitting at home feeling safe with your children and pets while being looked at as food. It's not the animals fault; it's the misguided humans who think these animals are no problem as long as they are caged and fed in their yards. Of course believing that there is no possibility of escape. Who's ignorant now? Please look up all of the articles over the years of the big cats escapes. (And wasn't the meaning of the words" Exotic Animals" always referring to "Exotic Birds and Exotic Fish" not "Exotic Lions and Tigers? Makes them sound like nice pets, doesn't it?)

Joan Plume

Williston