Slash Leads Celebrity Twitter Response to Exotic Animal Hunt in Ohio
'Welcome to the Jungle,' indeed! Former Guns N' Roses guitarist Slash led the charge of animal activists from all over the world who took to Twitter to question the strategy chosen by Ohio police yesterday (Oct. 19) in handling the escape of a host of exotic animals from an animal preserve in Zanesville, Ohio.
After initial attempts to subdue the animals were unsuccessful, the officers instead hunted them down and opened fire, fatally injuring all but a few of the creatures. "I get the situation," Slash wrote in a post on his Twitter account, "but there's no way it was totally necessary to exterminate 49 loose exotic animals in Zanesville, Ohio."
The situation was a wild one indeed. Fifty-six wild animals -- including a grizzly bear, leopards, monkeys, wolves and 18 Bengal tigers (an endangered species) -- were sent scattering across farmland and through woodlands near the central Ohio city with a population 25,000 when the owner of the wildlife preserve cut open their wire cages and unlocked cage doors. He later fatally shot himself.
At first the Muskingum County sheriff’s deputies and other law enforcement officials responded with the hopes of capturing the animals, but after a veterinarian failed to slow down a fleeing 300-pound Bengal tiger with a tranquilizer dart, their weapons were switched to handguns and assault rifles.
Sheriff Matt Lutz described the animals as “mature, very big, aggressive” and insisted they had a “high potential” for danger to humans. “We could not have animals running loose in this county,” he insisted. “We could not have that.” A few of the animals, left in cages or taken down with tranquilizers, were spared.
Slash's tweet was just one of a swarm of celebrity Twitter responders, including posts from 'Dancing With the Stars' judge Carrie Ann Inaba, DJ Samantha Ronson, actor George Takei, comedian Joel McHale and wildlife expert Jack Hanna, who is based in nearby Columbus and assisted the operation.
Slash is a board trustee of the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association, a longtime supporter of the Los Angeles Zoo and has kept numerous snakes and reptiles as pets. He even named one of his solo projects Slash's Snakepit.