October 19th, 2011
01:37 AM ET

Schools closed as exotic animals prowl Ohio

Officials in eastern Ohio declared schools closed Wednesday as sheriff's deputies equipped with night vision attempted to hunt down dozens of exotic animals - including bears, lions, tigers and cheetahs - who escaped from a preserve following the death of its owner.

Muskingum County Sheriff Matt Lutz said deputies, armed with shotguns, were patrolling areas in pickup trucks early Wednesday morning.

"There are still thought to be several dangerous animals on the loose, creating a public safety threat."

In nearby Licking County, Sheriff Randy Thorp said he has activated the county SWAT team "who will be equipped with night vision and the necessary weapons to deal with any encounters with such animals."

The menagerie of about 48 animals on the loose also includes wolves, giraffes and camels.

Deputies shot dead about two dozen of them Tuesday.

Schools in at least four districts were declared closed for Wednesday, as authorities asked residents to stay inside until the rest of the animals were rounded up or killed.

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Filed under: Animals • Bears • Camels • Tigers • U.S.
soundoff (28 Responses)
  1. s kel

    Good I hope they EAT all of Bohners Tea toller people walking across the decrepiet bridges in Ohio, lol

    October 19, 2011 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
  2. s kel

    Feed my cats, they like both republican and democratic political pork.

    October 19, 2011 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
  3. chrissy

    lol @ bimbo as always! so the news said the owner released them and then killed his self! and jack hanna is there helping, he stated police did the right, and only thing they could and they believe there are still 3 animals loose.

    October 19, 2011 at 12:14 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Bimbo the Birthday Clown

    Oh, so if he killed himself, they didn't rebel. I had been assuming rebellion for some reason.

    There isn't really a Licking County in Ohio, is there? It's a typo, right?

    October 19, 2011 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
  5. bobcat2u.

    @BtBC

    I don't know about that county in Ohio, but there is a place called Big Bone in Boone county Kentucky. If you're ever there, make sure you go to Big Bone Lick state park while you are there. I promise you, this is not made up.

    October 19, 2011 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Anomic Office Drone

    If the states are too negligent, incompetent or weak to ban the personal ownership of wild and exotic animals then it should be banned at the federal level.

    October 19, 2011 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
  7. ma & pa

    we agree with comment 13 from Bee. and when "wild" tamed and dependent on humans animals were no longer wanted by their owners that man accepted and cared for them. how much of his body did they eat as they sat around waiting for their friend to get up off the ground and pay attention to them? any? as for him being in jail it was about his choice of weapons of self defense, said weapons now being called illegal, after he had been heavily threatened. "legal" threatening is what caused the death of the caregiver. We say this knowing full well DHS monitors these sites for crackpots and loose cannons. WE are the most peaceful of people. Let's see if enforcement comes after us now.

    October 19, 2011 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
  8. THE ONE AND ONLY DRAKOREX1

    WELL I DONT KNOW ABOUT LICKING CO. BUT YOU KNOW THERE ARE A BUNCH OF SUCKING COUNTYS.

    October 19, 2011 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse |
  9. a former buckeye in kentucky

    Yes there is a licking co in ohio and the town is zanesville oh. And yes there is a big boone in ky. I grew up about an hour from it in hazard ky.

    October 19, 2011 at 7:41 pm | Report abuse |
  10. http://www.discountdownloads.net/

    You understand thus significantly in relation to this topic, produced me individually consider it from a lot of various angles. Its like men and women aren't involved unless it's one thing to do with Lady gaga! Your own stuffs nice. All the time take care of it up!

    April 6, 2012 at 6:03 pm | Report abuse |
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