Man found dead as exotic carnivores roam free--then killed by police
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Man found dead as exotic carnivores roam free--then killed by police

Columbus : OH : USA | Oct 18, 2011 at 10:54 PM PDT
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Wild animals loose

Update: Oct. 19, 2011 1:19 PDT

According to The Guardian, 18 tigers, 17 lions, six black bears, a pair of grizzlies, three mountain lions, two wolves and a babboon have been shot dead by police after farm owner Terry Thompson released his animals before shooting himself to death.

There will be no school for many on Wednesday in Muskingum County, Ohio due to wild animals running loose in the area after a man was found dead who runs an exotic animal far, according to Ohio's 10TV.com.

Police are frantically scrambling looking for animals.

To the dismay of animal advocates, many wild beasts have already been shot and killed in an effort to keep people in the area safe.

Authorities believe that about 48 to 51 animals were running free, but now most are dead after police took them out on Tuesday night. Wednesday morning's update: About 43 animals are now dead.

The owner of the farm, Terry Thompson, was found dead outside of his house on the farm's property while many of the gates were left open. Police were initially not releasing his death, but are now saying it appears he committed suicide by shooting himself.

Police believe many of the animals actually made a run for it around 6 p.m. from the animal farm near Kopchack Road. Hunting for the wild carnivores became quite difficult as there was only about two hours of daylight on Tuesday for them to work with in trying to track all the animals.

Police are not revealing exactly what animals are roaming free, but they are willing to say the farm had wolves, black bears, giraffes, camels, lions, tigers, cheetahs and grizzly bears.

Witnesses on Interstate 70 reported seeing exotic animals on the highway, according to police.

“It’s been a bad situation for a long time and the last thing we want to do is to have any of our public hurt,” said Muskingum Sheriff Matt Lutz. “No young kids should go outside tonight.”

Animal lovers will be glad to hear that Columbus Zoo and Aquarium are in the area searching for wild animals with police hoping to tranquilize and return them to safety rather than allow them all to be exterminated.

"It's a terrible situation, there's no doubt about that," said animal expert Jack Hanna. "The loss of any animal's life is tragic, of course the loss of a human life would be even more tragic."

Tweet: briandutill there are a bunch of loose Tigers and other assorted animals roaming free in Ohio. Why do I imagine its like Naked Gun 2 1/2?

Related reports:

Court records reveal Ohio man traded guns for animals

Strong reactions after 49 exotics killed by police

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Stephanie Ealy is based in Tacoma, Washington, United States of America, and is an Anchor on Allvoices.
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  • Exotic animals escape Ohio farm, owner found dead

      AP Online
    bit.ly/q93F3p ) the body of owner Terry Thompson was found Tuesday outside his home on the farm property. Police say the fences had been left unsecured at the Muskingum County Animal Farm in Zanesville. Police won't say what animals...
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    Authorities gave a press conference Thursday (Oct. 20) as a follow-up to the previous day's press conference with more information regarding the escaped wild animals in Muskingum County, OH. Terry Thompson , the owner of the animals, died from a self-...
  • Exotic Animals on the Loose in Ohio Being Contained

    The nearly 50 animals, including lions, Bengal tigers, cheetahs and wolves, had escaped from a 40-acre exotic-animal farm in Zanesville, about 50 miles from Columbus, after its suicidal owner, Terry Thompson, 62, apparently freed them late Tuesday...
  • Lions, tigers escape from Ohio farm

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    The owner of an exotic animal preserve in a rural area in Ohio was found dead Tuesday after lions, tigers and other exotic animals escaped from the property. About 25 animals were shot and killed by sheriff's deputies, the Zanesville Times Recorder...

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