Local wildlife expert reacts to animals killed in Zanesville

RISING SUN, IN (FOX19) - One Tri-state wildlife expert is speaking out about the mass killing of dozens of wild and exotic animals in Zanesville, Ohio.

At the Red Wolf Sanctuary in Rising Sun Indiana, Paul Strasser spends his days taking care of wild animals most people only see on TV including four black bears.

While they may be managed in cages and outside habitats, Strasser knows they will never be domesticated.

"You're not changing a million years of evolution for a bear by raising it," he argued. "All you're doing is taking away its natural fear of human beings."

For Strasser who worked 13 years at the Cincinnati Zoo, the situation in Zanesville is inexcusable.

"I'm not real big on telling people what they can and can't do," he said."But there are people who should not have children let alone a bear."

Strausser says wolves, like the ones he takes care of, are not a major safety concern, but he can understand why police decided they could not take the chance.

"I think there will be enormous outrage by those people that don't want to see the animals shot so the sheriff is in a lose, lose situation," Strausser said.

For some animals, however, he says violent measures cross the line.

"If they shot the camels and giraffes and stuff like that, that would be inexcusable," he said.

Ultimately Stausser blames the tragedy not on the shooters, but the owner who he says gave the animals the death sentence by setting them free.

"They were let lose by the guy who they had basically entrusted their lives to and he betrayed them by letting them out to be shot," Strausser said.

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