Zanesville Ohio Mass Wild Animal Escape: Three Unaccounted For

Zanesville Ohio Mass Wild Animal Escape: Three Unaccounted For

If you live in Ohio you may just want to stay indoors for a while following the news that wild animals are on the loose that have escaped from a reserve. The exotic animals include tigers, lions, bears and leopards. Many of the dangerous animals that have escaped from their cages, have already been killed by the police.

Found dead at the preserve was Terry Thompson who was the owner of the Muskingum County Animal Farm, around two miles from Zanesville, that also houses wolves, camels and giraffes. Matt Lutz, Muskingum County Sheriff said that an autopsy was being carried out and that from initial investigations it appeared that Thompson could have died from a self-inflicted wound, after first releasing many of the animals. It’s believed there were between 48 and 51 animals at the preserve.

Schools in the area are closed, residents are staying indoors and along highways in eastern Ohio there are flashing lights cautioning motorists that there are exotic animals on the loose and to stay in their vehicles. It appears that of the many animals that escaped, only three are still unaccounted for as many had to be put down. Those three animals still thought to be on the loose are a grizzly bear, a mountain lion and a monkey, according to Moni Basu of CNN News. Armed police deputies with shotguns are patrolling the area and worked through the night using night vision equipment.

Some situations have proved hazardous such as officers coming across a Bengal tiger. Although a tranquilizer shot was fired eventually the tiger had to be shot after it became agitated. Lutz said, “We are not talking about your normal everyday house cat or dog. These are 300-pound Bengal tigers that we have had to put down. When we got here, obviously, public safety was my number one concern. We could not have animals running loose in this county.” Lutz added, “There are still thought to be several dangerous animals on the loose, creating a public safety threat.”

There are reports that people have complained about animals being shot but Zanesville Mayor Howard Zelling said that tranquilizers are being used when possible. Many residents have reported sightings of the animals and Jack Hanna, Columbus Zoo director emeritus, who has helped in the search for the animals said, “We’re trying our best to make sure no one is hurt doing this.” He added that the best advice for anyone who comes across one of the animals is “Don’t Run. Just scream.”

If you’re in eastern Ohio we’re interested to hear your thoughts on this situation? Maybe you yourself have seen one of the wild animals? Let us know by sending your comments but for now, stay safe.

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