Wife of Terry Thompson expresses sadness for the death of 48 exotic animals, which were released from her husband’s Muskingum County Animal Farm on Tuesday.
Terry Thomspon took his life shortly after he released the animals from their cages; animals include 18 Bengal tigers, 17 lions, six black bears, two grizzly bears, three mountain lions, a baboon and one wolf.
According to Fox News, Thompson’s body included a large bite mark on the head, assumed to be from a wild cat after Thompson shot himself.
Animal expert Jack Hanna, who helped the sheriff’s department of Zanesville, Ohio, track the freed animals, told CBS he spoke with the wife of Terry Thompson, Marian Thompson, and consoled her after her husband took his own life.
“I understood she was very upset at me for taking her 'children' ... for someone killing her 'children’,” Hanna told CBS.
Hanna expressed remorse for killing exotic animals, six of which were taken to the local Columbus zoo for care. Hanna ultimately concluded that with 45 minutes till darkness on Tuesday evening and only four tranquilizers, there was no other choice for the Zanesville Ohio Sheriff’s department but to kill the animals.
Hanna described it as the worst thing that has happened in his 40 year career with animals.
In defense for killing the animals, Muskingum County Sheriff Matt Lutz said, “We are not talking about your normal everyday house cat or dog, these are 300 pound Bengal tigers that we've had to put down. When we got here, obviously public safety was my number one concern.”
According to police records, Terry Thompson had a history of animal abuse, yet was allowed to continue running his menagerie. Ohio government promises far stricter laws concerning the ownership of exotic animals after Tuesday's incident.