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Animals Loose in Ohio Update: All Animals Accounted for - Monkey Eaten?

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By Justin L. Ayoub, Christian Post Reporter
October 20, 2011|3:53 pm

The Ohio sheriff responsible for rounding up the freed exotic animals now believes all of them are accounted for.

Sheriff Matt Lutz said that of the 56 animals freed on Tuesday, just two monkeys, a grizzly bear, and three leopards were taken alive.

"We're convinced that we do not have any animals running at large," the sheriff's office told NBC4.

Sheriff's deputies searched the eastern Ohio woods with night-vision-gear and were armed with shotguns on both Tuesday and Wednesday night.

Forty-nine animals were killed, including six black bears, two grizzly bears, nine male lions, eight lionesses, one baby lion, three mountain lions and 18 Bengal tigers.

Defending the decision to kill most of the animals, Lutz emphasized that the animals were “mature, very big, aggressive” and that they posed a serious threat to the public.

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Schools and businesses nearby were closed Wednesday morning per authority’s request, and people were asked to stay indoors and to call the sheriff’s office if any animals were spotted.

Only one monkey was missing Wednesday night, but Animal expert Jack Hanna said it was possible the animal was eaten by one of the other animals.

"It looks like everything is taken care of," Hanna said. "There was one monkey left, and right now, we found a carcass of the monkey. We don't know if it was eaten."

Terry Thompson, the owner of the animals, released the animals before killing himself.

Thompson, 62, was convicted of animal cruelty and was arrested multiple times for traffic violations. He was released from prison three weeks ago after serving one year for weapons offenses.

Residents in the area reported spotting the animals, and Thompson’s neighbor, Sam Kopchak, said he saw a tiger chasing horses before he called the police.

Once authorities arrived to the property, Kopchak said, “It was like a war zone.”

Kopchak noted that Thompson was aloof, and loved animals, once spotting his neighbor driving with a baby black bear on his chest.

 

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