The miracle of the great Zanesville zoo escape—which began last fall when a depressed, desperate man named Terry Thompson set free his vast collection of exotic animals—was that not a single innocent person was hurt. The incident made global news. It also thrust into daylight, if only for a brief moment, a secret world of privately owned exotic animals living off the grid, and often right next door. We sent Chris Heath to Zanesville, Ohio, to find out where the wild things are—and what the hell they’re doing there.
This was a sad and engaging read. While there’s this tiny part of me that wishes I could cuddle up to a lion cub at night, my overwhelmingly rational self knows that this would possibly be one of the most irresponsible and cruel things I’d ever do.
Side note: this is first class reporting - thorough, engaging, and minimal bias.