Brought to you by WBIW News and Network Indiana
Last updated on Friday, October 21, 2011
(ZANESVILLE, OH )(WOIO) - After the release of more than 50 exotic animals on a private farm in Muskingum County - every animal has been captured or killed.
The animals owner, Terry Thompson, opened the cages of 56 exotic animals Tuesday evening before committing suicide. Six animals did not get out of their cages, and are now at the Columbus Zoo. The surviving animals include three leopards, one young grizzly bear and two monkeys.
48 animals were shot and killed by deputies and officers, and one monkey was eaten by a large cat.
Muskingum County Sheriff Matt Lutz said his deputies were ordered them to shoot the animals - some at close range - because they posed a threat to the community.
The coroner says Terry Thompson died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Thompson had a bite wound to the head, that is consistent with a tiger bite. The coroner says the bite happened seconds to minutes after the self-inflicted gunshot wound.
List of dead animals:
6 Black Bears
2 Grizzly Bears
3 Mountain Lions
18 Bengal Tigers
Officials say all of the dead animals were buried on Thompson's farm, including a 300-pound Bengal tiger, grizzly bear and mountain lion.
Muskingum County Sheriff Department has handled numerous complaints from the preserve in the past.
Well-known animal expert and Columbus Zoo director emeritus, Jack Hanna helped with the hunt. Hanna says he has received a lot of complaints from animal groups, criticizing the police on shooting and killing some of the animals. Hanna says law enforcement had to do what they had to do to protect human life.
Ohio has no rules regulating the sale and ownership of exotic animals. Hanna says he talked with the governor's office Wednesday and plans to meet with Governor John Kasich to talk about stricter animal laws.
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