Preserve had Bengal tigers, lions, cheetahs, wolves, giraffes, camels and grizzly bears, among others.
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
ZANESVILLE, Ohio (AP) — Police stalked one last wolf and monkey still on the loose and residents hid indoors Wednesday after a game-preserve owner freed dozens of wild animals, including tigers and grizzly bears, and then killed himself.
Police with orders to shoot to kill tracked the mountain lions and other beasts through the forested rural area in an urgent overnight hunt that left more than 40 of the roughly 50 freed animals dead.
"It's like Noah's ark, like, wrecking right here in Zanesville, Ohio," said Jack Hanna, former director of the Columbus Zoo. "Noah's ark filled with tigers and lions and all leopards and a few monkeys and whatever, and it crashes here and all of a sudden they're out there."
Animal bodies were scattered near a barn on the game preserve. County Sheriff Matt Lutz told a news conference that it appeared Muskingum County Animal Farm owner Terry Thompson opened the farm's cages and gates and shot himself.
The preserve had Bengal tigers, lions, cheetahs, wolves, giraffes, camels and grizzly bears, among others.
A dead lion lays by the fence on Terry Thompson's farm near Zanesville Ohio Tuesday Oct. 18, 2011. Police killed dozens of animals Tuesday that escaped from the wild-animal preserve where the owner's body later was found. Warning that more animals still were on the loose, officials expected up to four school districts to cancel classes as the remaining bears, big cats and other beasts from the Muskingum County Animal Farm were hunted down. (AP Photo/Heather Ellers and Dustin Burton)
Muskingum County Sheriff Matt Lutz speaks to the media about exotic animals loose in the area Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2011 in Zanesville, Ohio. Dozens of animals escaped from a wild-animal preserve that houses bears, big cats and other beasts, and the owner later was found dead there, said police, who shot several of the animals and urged nearby residents to stay indoors. (AP Photo/Times Recorder, Trevor Jones)
Muskingum County Sheriff Matt Lutz speaks to individuals from The Wilds, a wildlife conservation center in Cumberland, Ohio, and The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium about exotic animals loose in the area on Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2011. An estimated 48 animals escaped the property of Terry Thompson in Zanesville, Ohio. Thompson was found dead outside his home. (AP Photo/Zanesville Times Recorder, Trevor Jones)
Investigators look around a barn on a wild-animal preserve Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2011, in Zanesville, Ohio. Police with assault rifles stalked a mountain lion, grizzly bear and monkey still on the loose after authorities said their owner apparently freed dozens of wild animals and then killed himself. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
A sign warning motorists that exotic animals are on the loose rests on I-70 Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2011, near Zanesville, Ohio. Police with assault rifles stalked a mountain lion, grizzly bear and monkey still on the loose after authorities said their owner apparently freed dozens of wild animals and then killed himself. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)