Ohio’s temporary housing facility for dangerous wild animals opened in March 2013. Here’s a look at details about the taxpayer-funded facility, which has so far housed 35 animals:
— Animals boarded include 27 alligators, one crocodile, four bears, one cougar, one timber wolf and one serval cat.
— No animals have been euthanized.
— Animals have been relocated to accredited sanctuaries or rescues in five states: California, Florida, Michigan, South Carolina and South Dakota.
— The longest stay at the facility has been 66 days. The shortest has been overnight.
— The building, at nearly 20,000 square feet, can hold up to 30 large animals. It has four secured enclosures for primates and features a snake and reptile room.
— Animal enclosures have 6-gauge wire and six padlocks.
— Seventeen 360-degree cameras monitor the facility.
— Animals are fed or cared for once or twice a day.
— Columbus Zoo employees provide additional help, if necessary, through a state contract.
— Creatures are given enrichment activities to stimulate natural behaviors. (Bears get balls and ice blocks with food; alligators get heat lamps and basking pads.)
— Several Ohio zoos reviewed safety policies and procedures at the facility this month, prompted in part after a bear nipped a college intern on the finger.
Source: Ohio Department of Agriculture