As I watched the news today, I was astonished at hearing that there are many dangerous exotic animals running loose this morning in Ohio. Officials near Zanesville, Ohio have announced that a private exotic animal preserve animals are loose and running rampant over the area. The owner, Terry Thompson, has been found dead and all of the animals cages had been opened and fences around the area left opened to give the animals free range to roam loose.
Officials have said that schools in the area have been closed and signs along Interstate 70 are posted to allow travelers to know that their are animals on the loose and that they should stay in their vehicles. These animals are dangeous as they will be aggressive due to the fact that they are all adult animals and that they are scared and paniced as they are out of their normal habitat.
Officials are saying that approxiamately 50 animals including lions, tigers, wolves, black bears, and grizzly bears have been wandering loose overnight and that some of those have been shot and killed by the local officials It is believed that about 35 of these animals have now been killed by officials. Zoo officials are in today to aid in the search and hopefully, to assist in catching some of these animals in order to house them in zoos throughout the country. It doesn’t seem fair to kill them, even though they pose a risk to others as they are not at fault for anything other than this man’s decision to turn them loose. Owner, Terry Thompson, had permits for these animals, but it leaves others to wonder about the regulations and laws on private citizens owning exotic animals like these. Ohio doesn’t have many laws concerning these types of animals. Here is a website where readers can learn a little more about the laws in their states concerning owning and housing exotic animals.
Speculation is that Terry Thompson had turned the animals loose himself and then shot himself. He had been in some trouble in the past with the law and recently, he had been released from jail on federal firearms charges.
A reminder to anyone who lives in the area or anyone who is traveling in the rural Eastern part of Ohio, be cautious of these animals being loose and please stay away from these animals. If you happen to spot one, call 9-1-1 immediately! These are dangerous animals.