Sanctuary in Alpine offers help for escaped Ohio animals
Bobbi Brink, founder and director of an exotic animal sanctuary and rescue program in eastern San Diego County, said Wednesday the wild animal escape in Zanesville, Ohio, is tragic but not surprising.
Ohio is one of 10 states that have no regulations about the keeping of wild animals and no restrictions on who can run a sanctuary program, Brink said. The operator at Zanesville was notorious in the animal sanctuary movement for mistreating animals, she said.
"This is an example of how the system has failed and threatens the safety of nearby residents," Brink said.
California, by comparison, has strict rules about cages and safety fencing, she said.
Lions, Tigers & Bears, located on 93 acres in Alpine, east of San Diego, has 52 animals of 17 species, including three lions, four tigers, a leopard, three bobcats, a mountain lion and three black bears.
A four-acre area for the black bears is being completed at a cost of $350,000, Brink said.
Brink said she has made an offer to Ohio authorities to make her facility available to house the animals that were let loose by the Zanesville owner before his apparent suicide. She hopes some of the animals can be trapped rather than shot.
"It's a terrible situation and look who is getting hurt: the animals," she said.
-- Tony Perry in San Diego
Photo: Investigators walk around a barn as carcasses lay on the ground at the Muskingum County Animal Farm Wednesday in Zanesville, Ohio. Credit: Tony Dejak / Associated Press