Seems a Wild Animal Preserve in OH had a bit of a problem yesterday. The owner was found dead, and most, if not all, the cages were open and animals roaming free (reports vary as to whether all the cages were open or just some). Police aren’t discussing which animals they’re missing, but they are making comments about worrying about big cats loose. Not sure if the lack of specifics is because they’re trying not to panic the public, or because they don’t know exactly whats missing (could be either, or both in my opinion), but apparently there were a variety of big cats, bears, and wolves (along with a bunch of non-predator types) on the property.
Local schools have canceled classes, people have been advised to stay indoors, and call police if they site an exotic animal.
I have to admit that my first response on reading this was to be glad that even if the big cats took off in this direction right away it’ll be a couple days before they can reach my area. Which is a good thing since I don’t have my Pistol license yet (dammit). I did see one commenter, on a blog I read, say that he didn’t expect some of the animals to do well over the winter. Frankly I expect them to do just fine, if they’ve been living at the preserve for any length of time they’ve already had a chance to adapt to the winters, and unlike the average house cat, big cats don’t seem to loose their ability to hunt prey just because they’ve not done it recently (or technically at all, even captive bred cats have killed their handlers on occasion).