Animal Rights

Ohio Animal Tally: 49 Killed, 6 Captured Alive, 1 Missing

| by Mark Berman Opposing Views

The exotic animal disaster in Ohio is almost over -- as of Wednesday evening just one monkey was still missing, but the death toll is staggering.

On Tuesday, Terry Thompson, the owner of Muskingum County Animal Farm in Zanesville, Ohio opened the gates to free his animals and then he killed himself.

A total of 56 wild and dangerous animals were left to roam the area. Muskingum County Sheriff Matt Lutz said police had no choice but to gun them down to protect the population, saying deputies do not carry tranquilizers and are not trained to subdue animals.

In the end, 49 animals were killed. The New York Times reports they were two wolves, six black bears, two grizzly bears, nine male lions, eight lionesses, one baby lion, three mountain lions and 18 Bengal tigers were killed.

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Officers managed to capture a grizzly bear, three leopards and two monkeys alive. They were taken to the Columbus Zoo, where its noted expert Jack Hanna mourned the loss of the Bengal tigers, pointing out there are just 1,400 of them left in the world.

Animal activists are using this as a tragic example of why such private animal reserves must be outlawed.

"Wild animals should be left in the wild," Adam Roberts, executive vice president of Born Free USA, told the Los Angeles Times. "We often warn that these things can happen, people can be hurt, animals can be hurt, animals can be killed, but we know that these facilities exist and that has to stop."