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Entries in Lions (2)

Wednesday
Oct192011

Wild Animals Loose in Ohio: Town Under Lockdown

Fred Polks, Jr.UPDATE: The only animal believed to still be at large is a monkey, Zanesville police said Wednesday.

(ZANESVILLE, Ohio) --  A grizzly bear, mountain lion and a monkey are still on the loose in Ohio after authorities hunted down as many as 51 ferocious animals that were set free by the owner of an animal preserve before he killed himself.

Muskingum County Sheriff Matt Lutz told reporters he can't be 100 percent sure that those three animals are the only ones unaccounted for.

Lutz and ABC News' wildlife expert Jack Hanna, who will take the living animals at the preserve to the Columbus Zoo, urged the public to remain cautious.

"If you see these animals you do not run," said Hanna, who added he is most concerned about the mountain lion, since those animals have "great leaping ability."

The sheriff said that when his men arrived at the animal preserve in Zanesville, they found bears, lions, Bengal tigers, black bears, and leopards roaming the area. Since it was about to get dark, he feared the animals would escape into the night.

He said his deputies had to kill animals at close range with their sidearms. One animal that got away was hit by a car on a highway some distance away, he said.

The animals' cages were opened up by Terry Thompson, who owned an animal preserve in Zanesville. Thompson killed himself after freeing his menagerie, Lutz said.

Hanna and his vets visited the farm Wednesday, calling conditions deplorable.

The man who is believed to have set the animals free, Thompson, 61, was recently released from prison after serving one year on federal weapons charges. According to investigators he has been cited in the past for animal abuse and neglect.

Lutz said at a news conference that residents should stay inside until the animals, which escaped around 6 p.m. Tuesday, are rounded up. Several schools across the area have cancelled classes for Wednesday.

Police, who have been ordered to shoot to kill, describe the loose animals as "mature, very big and aggressive."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Oct182011

Lions, Tigers, Bears on the Loose in Ohio

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(ZANESVILLE, Ohio) -- As many as 48 wild animals, including cheetahs, grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, tigers and lions, are on the loose in the area of Zanesville, Ohio, after they escaped from a private wildlife preserve, police said Tuesday night.

Officers believe they have shot as many as 25 of the animals so far, but it is not clear exactly how many escaped, according to the Muskingum County Sheriff’s Department.

Muskingum County Sheriff Matt Lutz said that until the animals are rounded up, people should stay inside.

“These are wild animals, wild animals that you would see on TV in Africa,” Mutz said at a news conference Tuesday evening.

The owner of the preserve was found dead, but it’s not clear yet how he died, the sheriff said.

The animals’ pens were found open, and deputies are working with the animals’ caregiver, who says the animals were fed Monday.

They’re putting food in the animals’ pens in the hopes they might return to the pens where they can then secure the animals.

Police describe the animals as “mature, very big and aggressive.”

The Ohio State Highway Patrol has cordoned off seven square miles near Interstate 70 and officers are using infrared equipment to find the animals.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio