Kenny Hetrick has owned and operated the Tiger Ridge Exotic's animal preserve for 38 years. His collection of wild animals include tigers, lions, grizzly bears, timberwolves and a bobcat. Hetrick was sick to his stomach when he saw the news reports that Terry Thompson had purposely released the wild animals from his farm in Zanesville, Ohio before fatally shooting himself. "I was really surprised, it was unbelievable because I have talked to this guy at exotic animal auctions and he seemed like he was a good guy," Mr. Hetrick said.
Hetrick says his facility is secure and worries that the Zanesville incident will cause a knee jerk reaction of more legislation and regulation of wild animals in Ohio. "I don't want you coming here and taking my animals and killing mine; I had nothing to do with that, nothing at all," Mr. Hetrick said.
The United States Department of Agriculture recently advised Hetrick that he would have to make some changes to some of the fencing on the property and gave him a timeline for making the upgrade that Hetrick thought was not practical. So Hetrick wrote a letter to Congressman Bob Latta which resulted in Hetrick receiving a one year extension on making the fence improvements.