Thursday, October 20, 2011

Does anyone know what a lion would run me these days?

On Wednesday Terry Thompson, the owner of a wild life farm in Zanesville Ohio, released nearly 50 of his exotic animals before shooting himself. The owner's death is very sad and I'm grateful that no one was injured by the animals as far as I've read (let me know if I'm wrong). I'm also, as a huge animal lover, devastated by the deaths of so many animals. More than one-half of one percent of the world's estimated population of Bengal tigers was killed. Devastating. I understand the necessity of these actions, but it is still very, very sad. It is a small consolation, but a handful of animals were rescued and transported to the Columbus Zoo. If you wish to assist in their care, I encourage you to consider making a donation to the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium.

When reading a USA Today article about the event I learned something very interesting and the following Facebook chat conversation ensued between Kayla and I last night:

Me:
  • We're moving to Ohio. "Ohio has some of the nation's weakest restrictions on exotic pets and among the highest number of injuries and deaths caused by them." "The state requires permits for bears but doesn't regulate the ownership of nonnative animals, such as lions and tigers."
  • Oh, ignore the injury part. Didn't mean to include that.
Kayla:
  • Hate my work computer.
  • I was barely able to do anything today.
  • Internet worked but I couldn't get my Outlook or my accounting software to work.
Me:
  • Ma pauvre.
  • On a happy note, we're moving to Ohio and getting a pet lion so you have that to look forward to.
Kayla:
  • What?
  • Why?
  • Wouldn't you be allergic to a lion?
Me:
  • Read the info I sent you earlier ^^
Kayla:
  • Um yeah, didn't some guy just get killed by his exotic pets?
Me:
  • 1) I'll shave the lion if I'm allergic to it. 2) He shot himself in the head. The animals didn't kill him.
Kayla:
  • But still.
  • Should probably not have a lion? I mean where would we keep it?
  • Where would we keep a LION?
Me:
  • Obviously we're going to buy farm land in Ohio and make a mini Sahara.
  • You don't need a license or anything to own non-native animals.
  • And bears are lame.
  • So I'm sticking with lions.
Kayla:
  • Can't we just stick with my original plan and get mini farm animals?
Me:
  • Yes. And feed them to the lions.
  • OMG WE COULD HAVE GLADIATORS!!
Kayla:
  • You are just a whole 'nother level right now.
Me:
  • Now about these lions. I wonder if we can get an ape too. One the lions won't eat. And name it Rafiki.
  • We could make a pride rock. They'd have so much more room in a big field than in the zoo. We'll just put a big moat and electric fence around the perimeter.
Kayla:
  • Michael, WTF?
Me:
  • Maybe pride rock will actually be a fake rock that is really their inside home and such.
  • And we'll make an underground tunnel that goes under the moat and leads to pride rock so we can get to them and feed and pet them.
  • I'll draw up some plans.
  • And look for cheap farm land to covert into a desert.
  • Not all my messages are showing up in chat. Did you see the one about the tunnel? That's important.
Kayla:
  • Yes. I can't think of a damn thing to say.
Me:
  • I know. It's awe inspiring, right?
Kayla:
  • It's....something.
Me:
  • Something AMAZING. I can't believe no one has done this yet. We'll lead safaris through the harsh wilderness of Ohio. It will be great.
Kayla:
  • I think you're going to need that straight jacket sooner than we thought.
Me:
  • What? This is soooo normal. I'm an animal loving entrepreneur.
  • So what are we going to name our lions?
Kayla:
  • Hold up. How'd we go from having 1 lion to having an entire menagerie of exotic pets?
Me:
  • Calm down. It's going to be a pride of lions and MAYBE a baboon. That's all.
Kayla:
  • A whole pride!?
Me:
  • Well, d'uh.
  • Just like 1 male and a few females.
  • And then we can sell the babies to pet stores.
Kayla:
  • What are you going to do with them in the winter?
Me:
  • What do you mean? It's warmer in Ohio than in Wisconsin.
  • They will have shelter in/under pride rock too.
Kayla:
  • Ohio's not THAT much warmer.
Me:
  • Average winter temp is 33.
  • That's the coldest month.
  • Why are you worried? They are lions.
  • They are strong.
  • The moat will be 50' wide as lions can jump up to 36'.
Kayla:
  • Can they swim?
  • Can they build rafts?
Me:
  • It will have a net. Not water. And will be 20' deep so they can't jump out.
  • Can't tranquilize them in water; they will drown.
Kayla:
  • How are we going to keep them from eating us?
Me:
  • They will love us.
  • Or we won't play with them.
  • And if this goes well, we'll buy another field and get an orca, but let's not get ahead of ourselves.
Kayla:
  • What's the point of having lions if we can't play with them?
Me:
  • We will try to train them, but I don't want you to have unrealistic expectations. Lions are like fish: look, don't touch.
Kayla:
  • We can look at lions at the zoo!
Me:
  • We tried that. [The Milwaukee County Zoo has new lion cubs. We went to the zoo last week specifically to see them after the advertised extensively that they were now on display, but the exhibit was being cleaned the day we went!]
  • If you would rather have a more friendly pet, we can go straight for the orca, but that habitat will be more expensive.
Kayla:
  • Orcas are not friendly. They're called killer whales. What's friendly about that?
Me:
  • They have never killed a person in the wild.
  • Have you ever seen a person ride a lion? No. An orca? Yes.
Kayla:
  • Whatever. You can do whatever you want. Just make sure I have lots of cocaine and diamonds.
So, if you know anyone who has a good deal on lions or orcas (I'm not being picky at this point), please let me know.

    12 comments:

    1. Yeah...the straight jacket seems like a good idea...

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    2. I'm working on a design for a co-lion/orca habitat in case I can get a steal on both.

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    3. I take it back. THIS is now my favorite post. Congrats, Mike, the torch has now been passed to you. Also, we might be soul mates.

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    4. Aww, thanks Holly!

      P.S. We're probably going to need some help building our new country (I'll explain later) in the Pacific Ocean. I'll let you know when that will be. Even if you could just help for a few hours. You too, Emily!

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    5. All of that is awesome. You know, my boyfriend is only scared of one thing, and it's Orcas. He tries to calm himself down with that "No orca has ever killed a human in the wild" thing all the time. I've seen the videos of them trying to get the seals off the iceburg. Those things are crafty.

      Also, my favorite headline from this Ohio thing was from a Yahoo News article entitled "Ohio authorities call off search for 'herpes monkey'"

      Priceless

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    6. Thank goodness one of those big cats prolly ate the monkey before being put down. Monkey Pox was bad enough, we don't need a Monkey Herpes breakout too.

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    7. I'd just like to note that for once, I look really really SANE in this post. Until my demands for drugs and finery, of course. Couldn't keep up the charade for long.

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    8. Why, why--WHY?!--would you be cruel enough to mention monkey herpes after you made me (that's my story and I'm sticking to it!) watch animal porn videos on YouTube?! If I keep reading your blog, I'm gonna end up having to be treated for post-traumatic stress disorder! LOL.

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    9. I'm just being realistic. Everyone needs to know what epidemic we may be facing. Fortunately you live nearish to me so you will be okay. I will talk to the herpes-ridden apes and ask them to move along. Animals RESPECT me and I GET them.

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    10. omg..."Did you get the message about the tunnel? That's important." I'm new to your blog and I'm in love with you both!

      Please name your primate Ceasar...maybe you can teach him how to talk and start a super intelligent breed!!

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    11. You're a genius! I'm soooo excited for this joint lion/ape/orca habitat!

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    12. As long as you promise to include those giant tortoises that I can ride around on, I'm IN!!

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