DNR correct in cracking down on exotic species

An editorial from The Register-Herald

BECKLEY, W.Va. — Most people would consider housing a lion, tiger or wolf in their backyard to be a poor choice, one that comes with not just potential legal liability, but the real possibility of being mauled or eaten.

Apparently, in this day and age, quite a few people are willing to take that bet.

State officials in West Virginia, prompted by the release in 2011 in Ohio of a menagerie of 50 animals including black bears, primates, leopards and more, have decided to help protect us from our more inconsiderate neighbors.

So West Virginia’s Division of Natural Resources is taking an inventory of such animals currently in the state. Owners of animals already here will have to go through a permitting process to keep them.

Some animals will be banned from being imported. Just which animals that are to be blacklisted will be determined in July.

The prospect of a 10-foot, 500-pound Bengal tiger next door is certain to get your attention.

But there’s more of a risk factor here than just public safety, important as that is. That is the risk posed by nonnative species in West Virginia…

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