Officials Kill Nearly 50 Exotic Animals At Large In Ohio
Man releases animals then kills himself
Approaching nightfall, law enforcement officials said Wednesday evening that they had accounted for all but one of 56 animals released from an Ohio farm the night before.
With just a monkey remaining on the loose in Zanesville, officials warned residents that the animal might be infected with the herpes B virus.
The exotic animals belonged to 62-year-old Terry Thompson who owned property about 2 miles outside Zanesville. Investigation into the matter is still pending. Preliminary reports indicated that Thompson opened all cages and left the farm’s fences open before fatally shooting himself. Authorities were waiting on the results of an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death.
As of Wednesday afternoon, authorities had killed 49 animals -- 18 tigers, 17 lions, six black bears, two grizzly bears, three mountain lions, two wolves and a baboon. Another grizzly bear, three leopards and two monkeys had been captured and taken to a zoo, CNN reported.
The public and animal right’s groups have expressed outrage to the killings of nearly 50 animals; wanting to know why the animals hadn’t been tranquilized rather than shot. Others wanted to know how Thompson, who had recently been released from prison for possessing illegal firearms, and convicted of animal cruelty in 2005, had been allowed to own so many exotic animals.
Schools were closed until all animals had been accounted for.