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.FULL STORY