Harrison now serves as the director of Outreach for Animals, a nonprofit animal advocacy team. He said his curiosity of exactly where these unique animals arrived from started early in his teens when operating for a veterinarian.
“When I was 16 working for a zoo vet, I began noticing men and women acquiring some of these exotic unsafe animals as animals,” Harrison stated. “There were only four or five phone calls a calendar year by the law enforcement division, and it would be a bear chained up in the backyard or a python or a little something.”
Harrison stated when displays showcasing conservationists like Steve Irwin grew in acceptance, he went from obtaining five calls a year to extra than 100.
“Some of them we experienced to get a reserve out to look and see what type of snake they ended up mainly because we hadn’t observed anything at all like that appear into this place,” Harrison said. ” We had been wanting to know in which have been these individuals finding these animals? We started off investigating in the ’90s and into the 2000s. We identified out there were being these auctions in which a lot of individuals would get them.”
In just one of their investigations, Harrison and Webber went undercover for an unique animal auction.
“An auction is an uncommon matter exactly where individuals were being bringing in their excess [animals] from different accredited, non-accredited zoos and yard breeders. All types of amenities that would have folks arrive get their pics taken with cats or the fairs with cubs. We realized they were auctioning them off to anyone from the community,” Harrison claimed.
Harrison claimed he designed the connections that the animals they had been acquiring in suburban basements and tied up in backyards had been coming from these auctions.
For Harrison and Webber, “The Conservation Game” was a “natural upcoming move,” immediately after their initially movie. “Elephant in the Living Room” — which detailed some of the operate Harrison performed whilst an Oakwood law enforcement officer who specialised in exotic animal emergencies.
Harrison reported he was inspired to glimpse into these topics by observing animal-handlers guest star on converse demonstrates and asking yourself in which these animals went soon after they have been on tv.
“Sitting on the entire world-well known conservationists laps on countrywide Tv displays like the David Letterman Clearly show, Jimmy Kimmel, what happens to these cats afterward?” Harrison stated. “We want to see them in the zoos, and we weren’t seeing them anywhere. We could not come across out wherever they went.”
The film also dives into the efforts of the Large Cat Community Security Act which is a proposed legislation to restrict non-public possession of exotic cats and also prohibit the community from interacting with them these kinds of as feeding, petting and photoshoots.
A number of of the advocates at the rear of the legislation include things like Carole and Howard Baskin, who ended up featured in the 2020 Netflix documentary “Tiger King.” The documentary capabilities the Baskins and the lobbying get the job done they are undertaking in D.C.
In 2020 the proposed laws handed in the U.S. House but didn’t come to the Senate prior to the close of the year. The bill was reintroduced in April.
Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Backyard advocated for the Major Cat Safety Act in December of 2020.
“The Cincinnati Zoo supports the passage of the Huge Cat Community Protection Act and is in settlement with AZA’s [Association of Zoos & Aquariums] placement that private folks ought to not be permitted to have or breed large cats,” explained Michelle Curley, communications director for the Cincinnati Zoo.
The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium in April of this year commenced to publicly assistance the bill.
The release of the film also brought to gentle the want for improvements inside Columbus Zoo’s vendors and processes.
In an interview with the Columbus Dispatch, zoo board Chairman Keith Shumate said, “there are items that the zoo could have performed far better in phrases of our procedures.”
Columbus Zoo declared previously this week it would drop some animal vendors who were being involved with Jack Hanna, the zoo’s previous director emeritus.
In a tale printed by the Dispatch, the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium suggests it has been producing modifications that tackle allegations elevated in the documentary. The zoo also cut ties with wildlife distributors who do not comply with selected animal care requirements.
“The genesis of the movie was not always a emphasis on the Columbus Zoo and Jack Hanna. The movie is extra broad than that,” Webber stated. “Unfortunately for the Columbus Zoo and for Jack Hanna, he inevitably turned a central target simply because of exactly where the investigation led.”
Hanna performed a massive function as the Columbus Zoo’s director until December 2020 when he stepped down. Hanna’s family declared on April 7 that he would be withdrawing him from general public daily life owing to a dementia analysis that experienced progressed.
In 2011, a Zanesville male launched dozens of unique animals on his farm and turned a gun on himself. Law enforcement and first responders had to place down escaped animals ahead of they reached household regions.
Officers killed 49 animals: 18 tigers, 17 lions, eight bears, 3 mountain lions, just one baboon and two wolves.
“We’re hoping no a lot more folks will privately have massive cats in their homes,” Harrison reported. “You won’t be able to endanger the regulation enforcement officers and to start with responders for the reason that they are often to start with kinds on the scene.”
The movie is not out there to be screened locally but the filmmakers are doing the job to provide it to the Dayton place.