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Thread: Lions in Arkansas

  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    Aug 2002

    Lions in Arkansas

    Two or three days ago I saw a news report about some lions released in a wildlife park in Arkansas.Apparently someone was raising these lions illegally,and for whatever reason couldn't take care of them any more.Of course the guy didn't release them in the lion section of the park,so now they're wandering around Arkansas.I saw an update on the news report today,and it turns out that these lions are all being shot upon being spotted.I have to say,I'm not some crazy green-peace fanatic,but having worked for a humane society for a while,and caring for animals all my life,I do not agree with this.I realize that it's not exactly safe to have lions running around out of their habitat,but they do make these amazing things called tranquilizer darts that are used quite frequently and seem to work pretty good too.It's not thwe fault of these lions that some dumb a55 bought them off the black market and then figured out that...(news flash)...these things grow,and they don't seem to act very much like my old cat fluffy.If I was walking through the woods,and saw a lion about to pounce on me,sure I'd shoot it,but there are quite a few people in the world that specialize in the tranquilization and relocation of large wild animals,so why not give a few of them a call.I'm sure there's a zoo somewhere that could use a few extra lions(which by the way nobody has any idea how many of them were released by this person).I tried to find a web site with this story,but haven't had any luck yet.If I find something,I'll add it to this post.In the mean time,how do you feel about this,and do you think this could be resolved in a more professional manor?

    Found a link.Not a very detailed description of the story,but it's something.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Aug 2002
    I feel like this idiot should be locked up or fined or something... He should pay for endangering the lives of innocent humans as well as endangering the lives of the lions. I mean, how stupid can you get? ...lions as pets? At some point, I would begin to question the mental health of the would-be owner of the cats... In any event gghornet, I agree with you. I think that there should be some sore of announcement or something - if there hasn't been already - to say that a specialist should be contacted to tranquilize the cats. The fact that people are taking matters into their own hands could mean more danger. Who knows what the cats will do if they felt threatened.
    Opinions are like holes - everybody\'s got\'em.


  3. #3
    Gray Haired Old Fart aeallison's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Buffalo, Missouri USA
    I sympathize with you on this matter 100%. This happened around my neck of the woods in the "not so distant" past. Some hunter around here now has an african/ozarks lion head mounted on his den wall...My advice is to contact any and all people who can have a voice in seeing your wishes are carried out, start writing letters and making phone calls, and if it will help PM me and I will help, I have a few ties with the department of consevation...

    I live in Buffalo, MO. cheers
    I have a question; are you the bug, or the windshield?

  4. #4
    I read the article and found this passage rather odd:

    Extensive discussion of tranquilizing the lions had apparently taken place. Sheriff Lemon consulted with the Game and Fish Commission and Henning before reaching the decision to have the lion killed instead of tranquilized. Henning told them the lion might hallucinate and act violently if it was tranquilized and Lemon ultimately felt the threat was too great to take a chance. (/quote)

    Tranquilizing lions happen a lot in Africa and the only issue that seems to occur is making sure the tranq does not run out before the humans are done working. I am not a Vet so I am talking in ignorance at this point but I think it is more likely that the local government looked that the cost of tranqing and caring for this animal and decided to go the cheap route.

    Just my two cents.

  5. #5
    Senior Member SodaMoca5's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002

    Better Yes, Safer?

    I believe three things have to be balanced here. Depending upon how heavily you weigh the different items will determine your chosen course of action. The three are: humane treatment of the animal, safety, and money.

    If you feel that killing the lions is inhumane then the current plan is definitely going to go against your desire. I would ask myself though whether it is more humane to kill the lions or to tranquilize them and try to ship them off to a zoo. Some zoo's I would not ask this about. If the wild animal park in San Diego, for instance, would take them I think the lions would end up very happy (of course that is assuming I had a clue as to what makes lions happy). While I do not consider killing the lions to be inhumane (I reserve that for hurting, maiming, etc. animals) I do not, personally, like the solution either.

    Safety would argue that you get rid of the lions in the quickest, most efficient manner. That would be killing them. Tranquilizer darts have limited range and take time to become effective. During that period the lion could easily turn aggressive and dangerous. (Now this is from a nature show I watched so please read it with that in mind) When animals are tranquilized it is hard to figure out how long the drug will last, the drug needs to be administered with the minimum dosage considered effective, and some animals prove resistant. This means that tranquilized animals must still be treated with the utmost caution.

    Monetarily there is not doubt that shooting the animal is cheaper. No worry about special transportation etc. Lets face it in most places you could make money letting some yahoo pay for the dubious privilege of killing an animal for the sport of it.

    I believe, and a previous poster alluded to money, that most law enforcement officials will not consider killing the animal to be inhumane (park rangers, sherrif's etc have to do this quite often with animals that threaten tourists). Second safety is their priority and finally money always enters the equation. Final analysis, dead lions unless outside pressure is brought to bear. If you really feel strongly about this you will take aeallison's suggestion and seek publicity and help to preserve any lions that may remain. If none do then you can still bring to light what happened so that other people in similar situations may think twice about putting expediency above an animals life.

    However, and I say this honestly not to discourage, you will probably not get a tremendous amount of support. Most people will think "dangerous animal" and just be glad they were protected. Most people will not have that many qualms about killing a non-endangered species. Let's face it, many people have no qualms about taking their pet to the pound when they become inconvenient. This is supposed to be an animal that is part of their family and they take it to death row to await execution of sentence or stay of execution if someone adopts them. My last three dogs have all been pound puppies dropped off there by families who were moving etc and didn't want the inconvenience. Now that, IMO, is inhumane.

    So if you do pursue this do it for your personal well being and integrity and be prepared to meet a wall, not of opposition but worse, of apathy.
    \"We are pressing through the sphincter of assholiness\"

  6. #6
    Old-Fogey:Addicts founder Terr's Avatar
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    Aug 2001
    Seattle, WA
    Normally I'd push for tranquilization darts... but... if no outside or federal agency (or zoo) wants to help relocate the animals, then killing them makes sense for (comparatively) cash-strapped deputies and sheriffs. Leaving them certainly isn't an option, it would be a potential danger to the public and to the established ecosystems.
    [HvC]Terr: L33T Technical Proficiency

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