Exoctic Animal Slaughter in Zanesville Ohio

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  1. TKs view profile image61
    TKs viewposted 12 years ago

    My goal for this forum is to raise awareness about the Zanesville Animal Slaughter, the reasons it happened and what can be done to prevent it from ever happening again.
    I know there are many hubbers here that not only care deeply for animals, but also have a great amount of knowledge and experience.
    I myself do volunteer work at an exotic animal refuge center and to see the pictures of the aftermath is truely heartbreaking.
    I would love to hear ideas and see if some solutions can be created to ensure this type of thing never happens again.

    1. Eaglekiwi profile image74
      Eaglekiwiposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Hi TK
      I saw this on the news recently too and I must admit my first thought was, another case of animals having to suffer because of someones grosse irresponsibilty.

      My second thought was how was did this man ,who had animal abuse charges laid on him  before,ever get a license to house these wild animals?

      I confess I know little of the geography of Zanesville, even though I currently live in Ohio. Is it miles and mile of isolation?

    2. GinaCPocan profile image60
      GinaCPocanposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      This whole thing is a travesty. As far as getting a license, that's a real good question. I just heard on my local channel that a group of animal right organizations is trying to pass laws prohibiting privately owning wild animals such as these, and I support that. If your not a part of the zoological society, you have no business having these animals.
      This whole thing is heart breaking and frustrating, I am just glad that no one got hurt in the process, especially someones little kid playing in their backyard didn't have to be mauled by an animal that's just being what it was born to be.
      As much as I hate the outcome, the Ohio Police was on top of it, they acted quickly, and they did what they had to do. None of us were there, so we don't know what the processes really were. I give the Ohio PD a lot of credit acting on what they had to do.
      I love all creatures big and small, and it is so flipping sad that they had to die because somebody was irresponsible
      I do believe that animals of all types go to heaven..HE made them, HE will take the.

    3. Greek One profile image64
      Greek Oneposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Just don't let crazy people (or any people) own 'exotic' animals

    4. Lucky Cats profile image81
      Lucky Catsposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Hi TK...yes, this is heatbreaking and stirs much anger in my heart!  There MUST be tighter and more intelligent regulations about individuals "owning" exotic and wild animals. Obviously, the situation and the man were quite out of control.  There should be regular inspections whenever any institution or group maintain premises which harbor exotic, rare, endangered and wild animals.  The suggestion to subdue the animals was nixed as the effects of a tranquilizer would have taken too long...this is unspeakably sad and horrific...that beautiful creatures had to die...once again and again and again...due to the ignorance and arrogance of the human race.  I confess that I do not know the entire history of this sad story...why the man kept so many animals and what led to this terrible event...but, I still stand by my initial statement...that we should not keep animals about which we know so very little...only professionals and for necessary reasons (endangerment, breeding, etc. to save a species)...should handle such magnificant creatures.  Such a sickening loss...lives ended due to one man's folly.

    5. GeorgiaPeachGirl profile image60
      GeorgiaPeachGirlposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      The number one solution to this horrific outcome, would be, that no one should be allowed to own exotic pets that can kill people. Only experienced Zoos, or experts should be allowed to have wild animals. Until we stop allowing idiotic psychologically challenged people to keep these types of animals, we will continue sad stories like this one. It hurt me to see the carnage, but the sheriff did the only thing he could.

      1. TKs view profile image61
        TKs viewposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        I agree 100% GeorgiaPeachGirl.
        Sadly, there are more issues connected to this. Number one is habitat loss on a global level. This needs to be addressed so these animals can still have somewhere to live.
        Secondly, the poaching and black market trade for animals or animal parts in other countries must be stopped.  Outside U.S. borders, we don't have as much pull, but for those bringing the animals into this country, convictions need to have much stronger penalties.
        Putting all that aside, it is time for us humans to accept responsibility for our egos. Why it is, we feel the need to own, control or profit off the killing of these animals just for their pelt, bones, teeth or whatever. Trophy hunting should be outlawed across the board.  I have no issue with those who hunt for food.

  2. psycheskinner profile image83
    psycheskinnerposted 12 years ago

    It is very sad but the person who did the wrong thing was the nutter who let them loose.

    You can't risk letting tigers wander around in the country. Even major zoos have a shoot to kill policy if one gets loose.

  3. Uninvited Writer profile image79
    Uninvited Writerposted 12 years ago

    Jack Hanna went there to stop it but soon came to realize the slaughter was necessary. Very sad, these idiot with private zoos should be treated like the criminals they are.

    1. Eaglekiwi profile image74
      Eaglekiwiposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      I agree,but how does one get a giraffe or a tiger past officials? seriously, where ,how did this guy get those animals in the first place!!

      1. GinaCPocan profile image60
        GinaCPocanposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        Eagle, I think maybe circus'. Possibly retired animals from the circus. But in truth, money talks bs walks. If they got the cash, they can buy anything they want and some idiot poacher will get it for them.

        1. Eaglekiwi profile image74
          Eaglekiwiposted 12 years agoin reply to this

          Money talks-bs walks . so true...sadly always about money

  4. psycheskinner profile image83
    psycheskinnerposted 12 years ago

    Quite. A deranged guy hoarding machine guns should not be able to pick up endangered tigers like they are lifestyle accessories.

  5. TKs view profile image61
    TKs viewposted 12 years ago

    Thanks for so many quick responses.
    Sadly, there is no standerd law requiring the ownership of exotic animals.  Every state has its on rules and from what I understand Ohio is one of the most lax.  This is where the trouble starts.
    Because Tigers for example, have such a short gestation period, (about 90-100 days) there are some breeders that are no different than 'puppy mills.'
    This story will only capture the attention of people and thus poloticians for so long so it would be a good opportunity to contact your state Reps to find out what the laws are where you live.
    My understanding is the area he was in was pretty rural and I do feel the officials had little choice in what to do.  But as you said kiwi, the animals are the ones who always have to pay the ultimate price.

    1. Eaglekiwi profile image74
      Eaglekiwiposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Good constructive advice re contacting local state reps.

      Im emailing Tim Ryan ,then the local TV people wink to voice my concerns.

      1. kerryg profile image84
        kerrygposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        The HSUS has a bunch of suggestions for people wanting to take action too:

        http://www.humanesociety.org/issues/exo … s_now.html

        1. Eaglekiwi profile image74
          Eaglekiwiposted 12 years agoin reply to this

          Thanks kerryg-very helpful smile

      2. TKs view profile image61
        TKs viewposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        Thanks kiwi, and kerryg.  This is helpful.

    2. GinaCPocan profile image60
      GinaCPocanposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      "Sadly, there is no standerd law requiring the ownership of exotic animals.  Every state has its on rules and from what I understand Ohio is one of the most lax. "

      There should be and these laws ought to go Federal since the states can't seem to work it out.

  6. habee profile image93
    habeeposted 12 years ago

    Poor animals...having to suffer the ultimate sacrifice for some moronic human. What a waste.

    1. GinaCPocan profile image60
      GinaCPocanposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Couldn't agree with you more, habee

  7. Mighty Mom profile image78
    Mighty Momposted 12 years ago

    Animals suffer at the hands of ignorant, misguided people every day.

    I swear I think people should be required to take a test and have a license -- renewable every year -- to be pet owners. And not just exotic pets. ALL Pets.
    It won't stop all the loonies and meanies out there, but it's a start.

    RIP those poor, innocent creatures.

    1. manlypoetryman profile image80
      manlypoetrymanposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Seriously...Your right. The minute you get an an animal...from a goldfish to a 250 lb. Rottweiler...the responsibility is on the owner. People that are irresponsible anyways...got no business owning any kind of animal!

    2. GinaCPocan profile image60
      GinaCPocanposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Not a bad idea actually, but unfortunately that doesn't protect the strays.

  8. melpor profile image90
    melporposted 12 years ago

    Tk, my view on this is the laws need to be tighten and there should be laws in every state controlling the ownership of exotic animals. I believe people need to be evaluated and go through some form of training and be licensed before they are allowed to own exotic animals especially this many.

    As far as the slaughter goes, it is a shame but the local authorities handled this situation the best way they could had at the time. It was like a jungle out there with wild animals roaming freely.  The public was in danger. The head police explained there actions clearly, tranquilizers are not that effective of a weapon when tigers or some other wild animals  are charging at you. You just don't have time to get out of the way to save yourself.

    1. GinaCPocan profile image60
      GinaCPocanposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      I think exotic pets should be banned. They don't belong in any ones home, They belong in the wild. Snakes for instance, balance our eco system, they have no business in someones home. Alligators belong in the swamps. This also includes exotic birds. The crap those poor birds go through to get here and be put up for sale is horrific cruelty. If there wasn't a demand for these animals, this wouldn't be going on. Anyone caught with one of these should be dealt with the same way drug dealers are dealt with when caught importing drugs.

      1. Eaglekiwi profile image74
        Eaglekiwiposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        Yea it kinda opens up a lot of questions.
        In my opinion a wild animal belongs in the wild ,I really dont get why someone decided it was ok to make it allowable for them to ever be in a domesticated environment.

        Pet alligators become unwanted and head to the nearest waterway. 2yrs later it makes the 6o'clock news as being a problem for certain communities-go figure.

        Hollywood celebs for awhile taunted wild pets as 'their big babies',lately that trend has been downsized to 'toy breed dogs' roll.

        But the responsibilty (permits,licences) monitoring entertainment etc,lies with the decision makers in the end.

        1. GinaCPocan profile image60
          GinaCPocanposted 12 years agoin reply to this

          Eagle, the scary thing is these snakes and alligators are becoming adaptable in the northern hemisphere. They are finding then in New York's and Chicago's sewer systems. It more prevalent then people realize.

          1. GinaCPocan profile image60
            GinaCPocanposted 12 years agoin reply to this

            Let me tell you how easy it is to get an alligator.
            I'm a class A driver. I can drive semi trucks, and i have over the road.
            I was laid over in Atlanta. I was staying at a motel.
            Some young local girls where hanging out there, and I was sitting outside with other truckers complaining about being laid over, and one little girl came up and asked me if I wanted a baby alligator. She said she had a bunch of them. She even offered it to me free of charge. I told her those alligators belong in the swamp with their mother. I couldn't believe this. She said she gives them away to truckers all the time, which tells me is truck drivers are part of this problem. That upset me. This also tells me they must be all over the US and Canada.

            1. Eaglekiwi profile image74
              Eaglekiwiposted 12 years agoin reply to this

              Probably been going on for years and years -Ughh

              I know when I lived in SC for 18mths,I loved  visiting flea markets anytime I could , I was surprised some had reptiles and diff critters for sale! for pets.

              I am sure the snakes were harmless and I actually held the sugar glider..(cross between a possum and a rat) lol

              I just put it down to experiencing another culture wink

              The reality though is its probably very easy to get any animal in the US,because like you said -Money Talks

          2. Eaglekiwi profile image74
            Eaglekiwiposted 12 years agoin reply to this

            I saw a documentary on that very thing,amazing yet frustrating.
            Apathy ,I guess the mentality is ,if its not happening in my backyard ,I dont wanna know.

  9. kerryg profile image84
    kerrygposted 12 years ago

    It's horrible. I just read an article on Yahoo that the authorities have basically known what he was doing to these poor creatures since 2003, but he kept it "just within the law" so they could never get him. (Though I find it strange that they apparently knew he was starving his horses to death and feeding them to his lions - couldn't they get him on something there?)

    I hate it when innocent animals have to suffer due to human cruelty, stupidity, and incompetence, and it's all the worse that so many of these were endangered. There's only a few thousand Bengal tigers left in the entire world and now there's 18 fewer, all because this sicko liked to "collect" and Ohio's stupidly lax laws wouldn't let the authorities shut him down until it was too late and the only choice was to shoot them.

    1. TKs view profile image61
      TKs viewposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      I hadn't heard about the horses being starved as food. Hopeing it's not true, but . . .
      A few tidbits I've heard from others in the exoctic refuge system.
      Of true Bengal Tigers, there are estimated to be aprox 1,400 left in the wild. The greatest threat to them is poaching and habitat loss.
      However, here in the U.S. they number about 10,000 in captivity.  This includes Zoos, Vegas show cats, film industry and licensed refuges like the one I volunteer at. A large number of them are also pivately owned.
      Because of cross-breeding, alot of the ones in the States are no longer 'purebreeds.' 
      Originally there were 8 distinct species of Tigers.  Three are now extinct.
      Some calculations show that all Tigers will be extinct in the wild within our lifetime.
      Once any predator species has been in regular contact with humans, they can't return to the wild. In truth, there isn't the room in the natural world if everyone was forced to reliquish their animals.  This is only because of the explosive population growth of humans over the last two-hundred or so years.
      There is at least one state, I think its Missouri, that allows ownership but you must carry a one million dollar insurance policy per animal.
      When the law passed,  many animals had to be surrendered because the owners couldn't afford the cost.  Sadly, the more well-meaning  people were the ones that turned their animals over to authorized facilities.
      The less reputable people most likely hid the animals or moved to a state with more relaxed laws.
      An out-right ban would harm a lot of animals. It seems phaseing laws in and cracking down hard on the ileagle breeders would be a good first step. Consistant laws and tough regs. from state to state would also help.
      Also, increase animal crulty penalties at least ten-fold over what they are now. Including jail time.
      Glad to here from so many of you on this issue.
      The animals have no say, it is up to us to be their voice.

  10. leahlefler profile image96
    leahleflerposted 12 years ago

    This is a horrible tragedy - according to CNN, the man who owned the animals had threatened to release them in the past. Due to the lack of laws regarding exotic animal ownership, the police weren't able to act on his threat.

    There are several states with very lax laws - Ohio and Texas are among the worst. I remember a case of a little boy who had his arm bitten off by a "pet" tiger in Texas - people own and breed them. The only place for a tiger in captivity is a zoological park with trained handlers and the appropriate enclosures to ensure the animal's health and welfare.

    Those poor animals - what a waste.

  11. peanutroaster profile image64
    peanutroasterposted 12 years ago

    I can't imagine how much meat that place must have gone through each day.

    1. TKs view profile image61
      TKs viewposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      A adult big cat eats about ten to fifteen pounds of meat a day. I would assume, many black-market owners feed them less than that.

  12. psycheskinner profile image83
    psycheskinnerposted 12 years ago

    There are some animals that belong in breeding programs (many would be extinct right now without them) and in zoos (because it increases conservation spending).

  13. TamCor profile image82
    TamCorposted 12 years ago

    I just read this on a webpage--I didn't realize that some animals had survived...so there is at least some good news:

    The Columbus Zoo says it's now caring for a young grizzly bear, two monkeys and three leopards. The zoo said in a statement Thursday that the rescued animals seem to be doing very well.

  14. Reality Bytes profile image75
    Reality Bytesposted 12 years ago

    It was a terrible incident.  The poor animals did nothing wrong.

    Thought:  What does the inside of a slaughterhouse look like everyday?

    1. GinaCPocan profile image60
      GinaCPocanposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      I just pray that fitting justice is served

    2. habee profile image93
      habeeposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      I've been in slaughterhouses, and it ain't pretty. A quick rifle shot is much more humane. Of course, I'm referring to meat animals and not to companion animals and exotics. There was no reason these animals in Ohio needed to die. Stupid, callous, ignorant humans!

      1. Reality Bytes profile image75
        Reality Bytesposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        I had a Police Officer knock on a door of an apartment I was in.  They were on the third floor when the call was for the first floor.  Domestic violence.

        I heard them coming up the stairs, they told me they were coming in to the apartment.  I told them my friend had a GSD in the house.  He pulled out his gun?  I grabbed hold of the dog cuz if he was going to shoot the dog he would shoot me too.

        That was when they were told over the radio that they were at the wrong house.

        The police will shoot your animals immediatly with no concious.

        I am actually researching a hub right now concerning no knock swat team searches and the killing of pets.  Even if they have the wrong house.

  15. psycheskinner profile image83
    psycheskinnerposted 12 years ago

    The attempts to regulate exotic ownership was shot down by the anti-nanny state/libertarian brigade in about half of the states. Bill were proposed, they were defeated in the state legislatures.

    1. TKs view profile image61
      TKs viewposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      I'm okay with supporting 'states rights,' except when it comes to national defense, child welfare, animal welfare, and the environment. Dirty air and dirty water don't pay much attention to state lines, after all.

  16. Cardia profile image76
    Cardiaposted 12 years ago

    It breaks my heart every time I see poor animals suffering or dying at the hands of careless humans. Why did he have to turn them loose like that? What did he expect to happen?
    I just hope that nothing like this ever happens again.

    1. Uninvited Writer profile image79
      Uninvited Writerposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      I suspect he wanted exactly what happened to happen.

      1. psycheskinner profile image83
        psycheskinnerposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        Quite, he was unbalanced and angry and let them out on purpose.

        1. GinaCPocan profile image60
          GinaCPocanposted 12 years agoin reply to this

          Didn't he kill himself, that's what I read somewhere.

          1. psycheskinner profile image83
            psycheskinnerposted 12 years agoin reply to this

            Yes.  He was in trouble with the law for owning illegal machine guns and animal abuse. So this was his final F-you to everyone.

          2. heavenbound5511 profile image65
            heavenbound5511posted 12 years agoin reply to this

            It is very sad they had to die like this-had to die period. Below is a link with  for the full story.
            I live about an hour from where this happened. But it would be scary to have a bunch of lions, tigers and wolves running around freely.

            ZANESVILLE, Ohio - The man who let loose more than 50 wild animals here was bitten in the head by a lion or tiger shortly after he died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, the local sheriff said Thursday.

            http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/sto … 50843770/1

  17. AEvans profile image71
    AEvansposted 12 years ago

    I love all animals domestic, exotic it doesn't matter. Animals should never have to suffer. sad

  18. freecampingaussie profile image62
    freecampingaussieposted 12 years ago

    That was sad about the animals being let loose & shot . I would never let these guys loose.



    1. GinaCPocan profile image60
      GinaCPocanposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Why do you even own these types of animals? and how do you care for them?

      1. equine profile image69
        equineposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        What a terrible and tramatic situation.  Abused and neglected animals will likely be even more dangerous then their wild conterparts. That story about the GSD and police shooting pets during raids makes me sick.  We had something like that happen a student boarding stable in Texas.  A copy came over for whatever reason, I don't remember.  The dog trotted over to his car in greeting.  He does this to everyone who comes in and given that this is a public business this means dozens of people a day.  The copy pulled out a weapon immediately.  He later claimed the dog bit him and the dog was confiscated.  The dog was quarenteened for nearly 30 days, after which the barn owner had to pay many hundreds of dollars to get him back. 

        It is a cops job to be able to handle animals.  I wonder if it would be possible to implement a training program. Obviously the cop had a bad experience in the past and now was afraid of all dogs.  Is there a way to teach animal body language to cops? 

        With respect to the Ohio case, I do not necessarliy fault the sherif for not knowing how to handle an agressive lion.  I do on the other hand think cops need to understand how to handle and read the body language of everyday common pets.  They also need to understand that just because the dog is black and or large and or has big teeth, does not mean it has an agressive bone in its body.

  19. mary615 profile image82
    mary615posted 12 years ago

    This story really was a heart breaker!  I am an animal lover of all kinds.  Right now I'm signing petitions to stop the inhumane round ups of horses in Wyoming and other places.  They round up the horses using helicopters, and some of the horses get so frightened, they die of exhaustion and fright!  I saw the photo on the news of these animals lying in a heap after being killed.  That picture has stuck in my mind!

    1. profile image52
      Robbswaterposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      We saw it in the Newspapers, pictures and all. I was sick, why did they not get the Vet's in to Dart them, then move them to a secure unit, then try to find places for them?

      1. TKs view profile image61
        TKs viewposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        @Robbswater, I'm not quite sure which animals your questions are being asked about seen as how you connected your post to mary615's regarding  the horse round-up.  All I know about that is it has become pretty much an annual story.  The reason given for that is they are concerned the horses are "over-grazing" the area they live in. Mostly because they share the same land as range cattle or are reluctant to cross fences or highways that criss-cross their natural habitat. Of course, the horse population exceeds the available land in part because we have done such a good job eliminating the predators that kept the herds at a healthy level.
        If you were referring to the exotics in Ohio, the biggest reasons were that there was only about an hour of daylight left in which to track the animals. Even though this was in a rural area, there were still a good number of people and animals that needed to be protected.  As much as it hurts to say it, I do believe the officers acted in the best way.
        When a large predator is darted, ( I've personally seen this done) it can take as long as 10-20 minutes for the drugs to work fully.  In the mean time you can have one very pissed off and unstable animal on the run.
        Keep in mind, police officers don't carry tranq guns and have no training in how to deal with a situation like what happened. Also, these animals where not being well cared for which makes them even more dangerous.

        As a side note to the original story, the woman who divorced Mr Thompson is trying to regain custody of the few animals that survived. Last I heard the animals were quarantined to delay her, but she is still after them. I believe the survivors include 3 leopards, 1 bear, 1 monkey,
        Ohio is pushing through a bill, tightening it's laws to match the toughest standards in the country, but at what cost to get action.  This is why it is important to keep pushing for stricter Federal laws. I've not yet seen the new laws myself.

        1. profile image52
          Robbswaterposted 12 years agoin reply to this

          We only get a limited amount of information in the Newspapers regarding this incident. There was no mention of the animals being neglected. It was very sad what happened and I hope the State tightens up the Laws regarding keeping animals like this.
          As for the horses, Ive known culling to go on and in some cases it is better to be culled than starve through over grazing. In Ireland at the moment people are having it really hard and after speaking to the Vet the other day quite a number of horses and ponies are suffering. After attending to one of my horses he was quite surprised I asked him to try his best to save it, even though it would have been cheaper to shoot it (bad infection) I find it sad that people are still breeding yet there is no market here for horses at the moment except for meat. My horse is doing well now after being pumped full of antibiotics.

          1. TKs view profile image61
            TKs viewposted 12 years agoin reply to this

            One of the biggest victims of bad economic times are pets. Too often people have to make the choice between the well-being of their family or the care of their animals. Throw in some climate change and livestock can become very stressed also
            I'm glad to hear your horse is doing better.

            1. profile image52
              Robbswaterposted 12 years agoin reply to this

              Thanks for that. One of the other horses bullied him and we found him caught up in wire. We managed to cut him out. Luckly he did not panic. He cut all around his fetlock joint on his hind leg. I treated it, but infection got in. Hence the Vet's visit. A bullet would have been cheaper but its against most peoples nature. He is well into his 20's now but he is a kind old soul and deserves a second chance.
              I get offered Donkeys all the time but where do you stop? People like you said feed their kids first and in most cases pet's suffer.

              1. TKs view profile image61
                TKs viewposted 12 years agoin reply to this

                Yes, even with his advanced age the injury didn't sound like a death sentence. I tried to own horses for awhile. Found out green horses + green riders = bad mix. Won't go down that road again.
                It's true, once you start taking in animals others don't want any longer word gets out and next thing you know everybody seems to be bringing them by.


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Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)