lion mauls idiots on grey's anatomy
by Ali Berman
Categories: Animals, Causes, Entertainment, Film/TV.

Last night on “Grey’s Anatomy”, they tackled a scenario that almost always ends in bloodshed and devastation. When people take dangerous wild animals into their homes and treat them like golden retrievers.

In the episode titled “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” Meredith and Derek see a lion walking the streets of Seattle. Not surprisingly when they get to the hospital, two victims of a lion mauling are brought in with severe injuries. Turns out, a woman had a lion as a pet for the last fifteen years, and after a nervous move from her date at the door, the lion panicked and attacked.

We all remember Travis, the chimp who appeared in adverts for Coca Cola and Old Navy who attacked a woman’s friend in Connecticut in 2009. This wasn’t so different. And the doctors on the show make clear what they think of someone who would keep such a creature as a private pet.

Doctor Bailey says it best with these lines: “Maybe she should have gotten a dog. The dog fetches balls. Maybe a rascally dog who chews shoes but he doesn’t eviscerate your spleen. And don’t say it’s because you love lions so much. If you love lions you wouldn’t want it to live in your home. You would want that lion to roam freely in the jungle with other lions where they can eviscerate the spleens of gazelles.”

We couldn’t agree more. Many states have laws on the books that don’t allow the private ownership of creatures like lions, but in states like Alabama, you’re allowed to have a lion. Crazy, right? Born Free lays out what states do and don’t allow in this list of state laws.

Most recent in the public’s memory is the tragedy that happened in Ohio when 48 animals were shot and killed after being released by their unstable owner from a private zoo.

We hope that stricter laws are passed in Ohio and all over the country to prevent such tragedies from happening in the first place. Republican state Sen. Troy Balderson said about his proposal for a new bill to tackle the problem, “The goals … are simple: To protect our citizens, to preserve legitimate, law-abiding individuals who care for wild animals and to put standards in place to ensure the safety of these animals.”

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About Ali Berman

Ali Berman is the author of Choosing a Good Life: Lessons from People Who Have Found Their Place in the World (Hazelden) and Misdirected (Seven Stories Press). She works as a humane educator for HEART teaching kids about issues affecting people, animals and the environment. Her published work can be found on her website at In early 2012 Ali co-founded flipmeover, a production company with the mission to use media to raise awareness of social issues.

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