Ohio Surviving Animals To Zoo

October 20, 2011 by staff 

Ohio Surviving Animals To ZooOhio Surviving Animals To Zoo, The owner of an exotic animal farm in the U.S. launched dozens of tigers, lions and other animals from their cages in a final act died of a gunshot wound self-inflicted, and then was bitten by one of their own animals, a sheriff said Thursday.

An autopsy showed Terry Thompson had a bite wound to the head that seemed to have come from a big cat, a Bengal tiger, Muskingum County Sheriff Matt Lutz said at a news conference.

Apparently, the bite occurred rapidly after Thompson committed suicide, said Lutz.

Authorities say deputies fired 48 of the nerve over 50 animals released – including 18 rare Bengal tigers and lions 17 – in a hunt at night with guns emergency and assault rifles after Thompson launched their cages open shortly before sunset on Tuesday and killed himself.

“It’s a tragedy,” said veterinarian Barb Wolfe of The Wild animal preserve sponsored by the Columbus Zoo. “We knew there were dangerous animals … for many in this place in time that something bad would happen, but I do not think anyone knew it would be this bad.”

As breath hunting down Wednesday, a photograph showing the remains of tigers, bears and lions in a row and scattered in an open field went viral causes visceral reactions among viewers, some of whom expressed anger and sadness in social networks.

Some locals were also saddened by the death. In a nearby Moose Lodge, Bill Weiser said: “It’s breaking my heart, I shot the animals.”

Authorities said the dead animals were buried in Thompson’s farm.

Will Travers, executive director of the California-based Born Free animal welfare U.S. and organization of wildlife conservation, said the police had no choice but to take the action they did.

“It’s a tragedy for these animals, in particular, through no fault of their own, have been shot, and I can see how difficult it was the police decision,” he said.

Jack Hanna, TV personality and former director of the Columbus Zoo, also defended the decision of the sheriff to kill the animal, calling the deaths of Bengal tigers in danger of extinction, particularly tragic.

The animals also destroyed included six black bear, two bears, a baboon, a wolf and three mountain lions. “It’s like Noah’s Ark demolition here in Zanesville, Ohio,” said Hanna.

Six – three leopards, a grizzly bear and two monkeys – were captured and taken to the Columbus Zoo. “We are happy to report that everyone seems to be doing very well,” said zoo spokeswoman Patti Peters in a statement Thursday.

A wolf was found dead, leaving a monkey as the only animal that possibly still missing in the rural community of mostly farms, widely spaced houses and wooded areas about 55 miles east of Columbus.

While the sheriff’s office said Thursday that the search for the monkey was still active, Sheriff Matt Lutz said the animal can no longer be of concern. “We’ve had sightings of anything, and is a high probability that it could have been eaten by a big cat,” Lutz told the CBS “The Early Show” on Thursday.

Officials were ordered to kill the animals instead of trying to kill them with tranquilizers for fear that those affected with the darts to escape in the darkness before it fell and then regaining consciousness.

“There were so many animals running at large that I decided that we would not keep wild animals loose in our streets,” Lutz told CBS. “There was no way to know which animals determine where these animals end up.”

Veterinary Wolfe had tried to save a tiger in a heavy bush using a tranquilizer dart, but the animal charged him then tried to flee. It had to be shot by sheriff’s deputies.

“I was about 15 feet away and took a shot, and did not respond too, and I thought they were fine, but within 10 seconds, roared and turned to me,” he said.

Police Officer, Jonathan Merry, one of the first responders on Tuesday, said he shot a series of animals, including a gray wolf and a black bear, who accused him of 7 meters away. He said it is an animal lover and just felt proud to know that he was protecting the community.

“All these animals have the ability to draw a human in the length of a second,” he said.

The Humane Society of the United States criticized Gov. John Kasich for allowing a state ban on the purchase and sale of exotic animals that expires in April and called a state of emergency to crack down on exotic animals until the state is lawful permanent solution occurs.

“Every month brings a new and strange incident, almost surreal private equity, dangerous wild animals,” said Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of the Humane Society said in a statement. “In recent years, Ohioans have been killed and injured. … The owners of large animals, exotics are a menace to society, and it is time that the delay in the development of standards to end.”

Activist group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals also called emergency regulations and pointed to Gov. John Kasich, saying the incident should serve as your “wake up call.”

“Surely, after this latest incident, enough blood has been shed by the State to take action,” the group said in a statement.

Ohio has some of the weaker nation restrictions on exotic animals, and among the largest number of injuries and deaths caused by them.

Born Free USA says he has followed the 1500 attacks on humans or other animals, and escapes through the exotic animals since 1990, with 86 being in Ohio. Travers said there is an urgent need for legislation relating to competition from Ohioans looking for exotic pet owners’ ability to keep animals, the owners of welfare and public safety.

“Legislation should be there to protect people and animals to protect people from animals,” he said.

Thompson, 62, had repeated run-ins with the law and its neighbors. Lutz said the sheriff’s office had received numerous complaints since 2004 about animals escaping into the neighbors property. The sheriff’s office also said that Thompson had been accused in recent years with animal cruelty, abandonment of animals and allow animals to roam.

He had left a federal prison last month after serving one year for possession of unregistered weapons.

Thompson had rescued some of the animals in their conservation and bought many others, said spokeswoman Patty Peters Columbus Zoo.

It was not immediately clear how Thompson got the support of the reserve and for what purpose was operated, and that was not open to the public. However, Thompson had appeared on the “Rachael Ray Show” in 2008 as a handler for a guest zoologist, said spokeswoman Lauren Nowell display.

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