October 19th, 2011
01:12 PM ET

All but two animals accounted for, sheriff says

[Updated 3:31 p.m. ET] A grey wolf and a monkey were still on the loose 19 hours after authorities began hunting down animals released from a farm outside Zanesville, Ohio, a local sheriff told reporters Wednesday.

"We have 48 animals that are dead and those were animals that were released or got out of dens," said Muskingum County Sheriff Matt Lutz. Authorities were able to save six animals, which are being transported to the Columbus zoo, he said.

The animals were among 56 exotic animals released Tuesday from Terry Thompson's farm outside Zanesville.

Thompson, 62, was found dead and authorities were waiting on the results of an autopsy, Lutz said. But he added that preliminary investigations indicated Thompson released his animals and then died from a self-inflicted wound. He had pried open cages and left the farm's fences open.

Animals that had to be put down around the owner's 78-area property in eastern Ohio include 18 tigers, nine lions, six black bears, three mountain lions and two baboons, Lutz said.

Flashing signs on the highways in eastern Ohio warned motorists Wednesday: "Caution. Exotic animals."

Schools shuttered and some frightened residents said they were keeping to their homes as sheriff's deputies hunted lions, tigers, leopards and grizzly bears that escaped from a preserve after the death of the owner.

Lutz said his deputies, who found themselves in a volatile situation, had to shoot some of the animals at close range. A Bengal tiger was put down after it got agitated from a tranquilizer shot.

"We are not talking about your normal everyday house cat or dog," Lutz said. "These are 300-pound Bengal tigers that we have had to put down. "When we got here, obviously, public safety was my number one concern. We could not have animals running loose in this county."

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Filed under: Animals • Justice • Leopards • Monkeys • Mountain lions • Ohio • U.S.
soundoff (113 Responses)
  1. bobcat2u

    Hey raven.

    Some of these autopsies are really crazy. It's kinda like a person who dies a 110 years old. They do an autopsy to find out why they died.
    Well, everybody does need a job.

    October 19, 2011 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
  2. s kel

    Obamae is a communist war monger, starting all those big wars in lybia,uganda yemen, and killin all our republican voten troops by the thousands so more socialist democrap lazy welfare people can vote for that monky man. Well my meth is ready now in my trailer by the freeway, damn liberial govt made my plant move to india, i dont blame my boss , he needs to make more money.

    October 19, 2011 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
  3. raven

    Hey, one could cut the brake lines on a mean ole codgers hoverround, ya just never know !

    October 19, 2011 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
  4. banasy©

    I don't know about other states, they may vary, but in our state, all suicides, murders, and unattended deaths (died while sleeping, i.e.)
    They are performed to definitively give cause of death and manner of death.
    With this man, to determine he *wasn't* murdered. It's tricky sometimes. Soooooo,
    Hopefully, his death certificate will say: cause of death, gunshot to the (whatever part of the) cranium, manner of death, suicide.
    That's what gillian meant by ruling out foul play.
    Michael Jackson, anyone?

    October 19, 2011 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
  5. s kel

    Hi @Bansay did u read what the tea party person using my name wrote?

    October 19, 2011 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
  6. bobcat2u

    Hello banasy.

    But when the cause is totally apparent, they still do the autopsy.
    Do they autopsy the victims of capital punishment also ? If not, why ?

    October 19, 2011 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
  7. banasy©

    More like somebody could have slipped the old codger a potassium shot.
    That's kinda what I mean about the unattended death thing.

    Her, m.s. And bobcat2u. What's the haps?

    This guys caused this mayhem deliberately
    For any of the people who are goibg to b!tch and moan about these animals, they are cordially invited to get their Steve Irwin costume on go round up those critters.

    October 19, 2011 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
  8. bobcat2u

    @s kel

    Wow, I'm sure glad you jumped in and cleared that up. I thought you had lost your mind.

    October 19, 2011 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
  9. banasy©

    Hi bobcat2u:
    Yes, they do. I would think in the case of murderer, it's to see if their brain has a different pathology than a person who hasn't killed anyone.
    I also *think* it would be to research the effects of whatever method of CP they chose to use.

    I say pictures of Ted Bundy after his autopsy.
    Don't know what his results are, though.

    October 19, 2011 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Dyslexic and Outraged

    Deputies escape to shoot exotic animals ?

    DAMMIT !

    October 19, 2011 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
  11. banasy©

    Not s kel @ 2:49.

    October 19, 2011 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
  12. banasy©

    In Soviet Russia, exotic animals shoot YOU.

    October 19, 2011 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
  13. s kel

    HAHAHA lol , my wife read what I wrote , thought I was crazy and laughed at it. I was only mimicing what a tea partyer would have wrote. Lol, No Bobcat its the regular s kel.

    October 19, 2011 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    @ s kel:
    I thought it was you too.
    My new apartment windows are all installed now. they look great.

    October 19, 2011 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Bimbo the Birthday Clown

    Kill the monkey. But the wolf? Don't they already have wolves in Ohio? Might as well let it go.

    Hi Joey, licking your wounds from the Philly Captive thread?

    October 19, 2011 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
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