Zoo staff members came to the property in Zanesville after Terry Thompson, 61, killed himself yesterday. Investigators believe Thompson opened the cages of about 56 beasts before his suicide. Authorities said they answered many calls at the 73-acre spread over the years, including reports of animal cruelty. [...]
Law officers shot 48 animals and buried them on the property, including 18 tigers, nine lions, eight lionesses, three mountain lions, six black bears, two grizzly bears and a baboon, Lutz said during a news conference at a makeshift operations center near the Thompson property. A gray wolf and monkey were still loose, and the monkey may be carrying a virus, Lutz said. Six other animals were taken to the Columbus Zoo.
Hanna, who has been a frequent guest on television shows including "The Late Show with David Letterman," said he has received criticism because the animals weren't merely sedated. It was too risky, and a tragedy for the animal world "could have been a bigger tragedy for the human world," he said at the press conference.
Barb Wolfe, a Columbus Zoo veterinarian, said in an interview that she tried to tranquilize a tiger on the property this morning and was about 15 feet away when it roared and started charging, forcing police to shoot it. "An agitated animal like that can really fight off a lot of anesthetic," Wolfe said.
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