Brought to you by WBIW News and Network Indiana
Last updated on Thursday, October 20, 2011
(ZANESVILLE, OH )(WOIO) - Two animals remain on the loose in Muskingum County, including a monkey and a wolf.
Muskingum County Sheriff Matt Lutz says the animals owner, Terry Thompson, released more than 40 exotic animals from their cages Tuesday evening, before committing suicide.
His body was found outside of his Muskingum County Animal farm in Zanesville.
As many as 44 dead animals were recovered, including a 300-pound Bengal tiger, grizzly bear and mountain lion.
Lutz said that his deputies were not armed with tranquilizers and ordered them to shoot the animals - some at close range - because they posed a threat to the community.
The preserve had lions, tigers, cheetahs, wolves, giraffes, camels and bears.
One big cat was hit and wounded on the interstate.
Six animals were found still in their cages. They are now at the Columbus Zoo. These include, three leopards, one young grizzly bear, and two monkeys.
For safety reasons several schools closed Wednesday.
Muskingum County Sheriff Department has handled numerous complaints from the preserve in the past.
Well-known animal expert and Columbus Zoo director, Jack Hanna is helping 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 today and plans to meet with Governor John Kasich today and tomorrow to talk about stricter animal laws.
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