Skip to comments.Exotic animals escape Ohio farm; owner found dead
Posted on 10/18/2011 8:36:54 PM PDT by quantim
ZANESVILLE, Ohio (AP) -- Dozens of animals escaped Tuesday from a wild-animal preserve that houses bears, big cats and other beasts, and the owner later was found dead there, said police, who shot several of the animals and urged nearby residents to stay indoors.
The fences had been left unsecured at the Muskingum County Animal Farm in Zanesville, in east-central Ohio, and the animals' cages were open, police said. They wouldn't say what animals escaped but said the preserve had lions, wolves, tigers, giraffes, camels and bears. They said bears and wolves were among 25 animals that had been shot and killed and there were multiple sightings of exotic animals along a nearby highway.
"These are wild animals that you would see on TV in Africa," Sheriff Matt Lutz warned at a press conference.
He called the escaped animals "mature, very big, aggressive" but said a caretaker told authorities the preserve's 48 animals had been fed on Monday. He said police were patrolling the 40-acre farm and the surrounding areas in cars, not on foot, and were concerned about big cats and bears hiding in the dark and in trees.
"This is a bad situation," Lutz said. "It's been a situation for a long time."
(Excerpt) Read more at hosted.ap.org ...
On a waterbed.
Wearing a mask and with his arms and legs restrained says the article.
“four legs good, two legs bad!”
Insert FarSide cartoon here ( )
sounds like ALF to me. Leaving all the doors open.
Holy cats, Batman!
PLEASANT GROVE, Ohio (AP) — Beady eyes and dealy-bopper ears greeted Matilda Berkschneider this morning as she awoke in her upper floor bedroom this morning. A girraffe from the nearby Zanesville animal farm was wolfing down leaves from the tree outside . . .
Alas, I’ll never make it with the AP.
Our local news has been on this all night. So far 25 of the escaped animals have been shot...no information on the types, but they’ve closed the schools in that area for tomorrow.
Sounds like the 1965 movie “Zebra in the Kitchen” but much more serious.
I agree. Sounds like the M.O. of the animal rights whack-job crowd.
That’s gonna be a story for the kids to tell their grandkids. Shoot, there may even be a few folk tunes come out of it. “The Night They Shot Ol’ Curious George.”
Once it got dark the orders were to shoot to kill. Lots of livestock in that area and with the possibility of humans being attacked in the dark, they didn’t want to take any chances. Several lions, tigers, cougars and leopards were among the escapees.
Thompson, 62, was released from federal prison just three weeks ago, after serving a one-year term.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives had raided Thompsons Kopchak Road property in June 2008, seizing more than 100 guns.
In April 2010, Thompson pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Columbus to two federal charges: possession of a machine gun and possession of short firearms without serial numbers.
Under the terms of his release, Thompson was on home confinement for a year.
Thompson also was convicted in Muskingum County Municipal Court in 2005 of cruelty to animals, having an animal at large and two counts of rendering animal waste without a license. The charges stemmed from allegations that three cows and a bison had died on another property he owned, on Boggs Road in Perry Township, east of Zanesville.
Neighbors there had lodged numerous complaints about him letting his animals wander from that property.
Thompson was put on house arrest for six months and paid a $2,870 fine in that case. He also was ordered to move his animals to his Kopchak Road land.
I didn't do it.
I know this guy. I live close by. He was just released from prison. He let all of his animals go and then shot himself. The local schools are all closed. There are said to be over 40 animals lose.
He didn’t release the primates that were in the house, though.
No just the carnivores.
That is as convoluted as the report, how did a person “ just released from prison” have a long time animal farm??? How did he have a short term animal farm. Some of those animals cost a lot of money, and a lot of up keep. Really strange.
There are several restaurants and gas stations less than a mile from there. I’d shoot, too.
He was in prison for gunrunning by all accounts. I think he had a fair bit of tax-free cash available.
Staffers from the Columbus Zoo went to the scene, hoping to tranquilize and capture the animals. The sheriff said caretakers might put food in the animals’ cages to try to lure them back.
Too late now.
They closed the schools to protect the kids ... from stray police shots.
East Central Ohio sector. He did a year in prison as an undercover agent.
sounds like the Cops took advantage of the situation and got a free safari hunting trip of a lifetime.
Every one of those cops should be fired, and prosecuted.
Not a joke here.This farm is exactly 5.3 miles on the other side of the woods from me.Our school district is one of them effected.Local news says there were 48 large animals and 24 have been shot.That still eaves several lions and a grizzly bear out there somewhere.
Terry was a Nam vet who was a helicopter pilot and could fly anything.He held a speed boat race record and used to own the Harley dealership here from the 1970’ until about 1993.I heard his wife just left him in the past week.He was sentenced to 1 year and one day in jail in 2010 and had been out for 3 weeks.He used to have a federal gun license and had let it expire and was arrested for the automatic weapons he still had.He must’ve just snapped is all I can say.They have had the animals for decades.
Would you rather one of the lions killed a kid?
He got in trobuel because he used to hold a federal gun seller license and still had possession of a few fully automatic weapons..I suspect he kept them because of the animals ad if anything happened and they needed taken out....
What caused him to lose his license? The convictions for animal cruelty?
They killed those animals for fun.
They should have called animal control, unless someone had actually been attacked or was in immediate danger.
There are cheetahs, lions and leopards running around. This is not an animal control situation. This is a public safety issue.
Unless they had hurt or were threatening to hurt someone, there was no reason to start executing them by the dozens.
Face it, this was just a bunch of hick cops getting their jollies off killing everything that moved, and using their badge as an excuse.
The police can't sweep the woods killing every wild animal they see for public safety.
Do you have African lions, leopards, cheetahs and Bengal tigers roaming a populated area of Texas? When you do, and you’ve gotten over your cop hatred, get back to me.
These animals had been caged which is a whole other ballgame. You can’t possibly know the situation unless you are there yourself. I really doubt the “hicks” as you call them wanted to kill the animals for fun.
We have bears in the wildlife preserve here that are brought here for breeding but if they leave the preserve they are killed. That is the rule because once they leave the “safe” environment where they are accustomed they become predictors.
I would hate for some HUMAN/HUMANS to be mauled to death just because it upsets you to have exotic animals put down because they are a danger to people and other animals in the area.
Only on an animal preserve where they do sometimes attack visitors. We drove through one and I couldn’t wait to get the hell out of it! A giraffe actually stuck his head in a partially rolled down window and tried to BITE ME! I later found out he thought I was there to feed him...not. A big ole aggressive dude too. There was nothing going to stop him from coming in our car but hauling it out of there.
The dozens part tells me they they were probably on the radio calling their friends to come quickly and get in on the free safari.
A good reporter needs to get a copy of all radio communication during this event, and the state game warden and possibly even federal authorities need to look into this because there is a good chance some of those animals might have been endangered species.
Oh, please,they only have TWO local deputies on call since it is rural area according to one report I read. They called wildlife preserve officials instead of their buddies to help control the situation.
Maybe you don’t understand but even “hick” cops have laws and regulations and people that will hold them accountable in the end.
I can almost hear the radio calls now...
Hey Buford! you better get your tail down here ASAP! it’s open season on African game animals! Jim bob’s done bagged himself a Rino and two zebra’s, and I took out a freaking Giraffe! haul your butt down here, and bring some extra ammo! this is the opportunity of a lifetime!
You’re a real piece of work.
Lions, tigers and bears...Oh my!
“A giraffe stuck his head in a partially rolled down window and tried to BITE ME!”
An update saying of a Moose tried to bite my sister?! Now it is a Giraffe tried to bite me.
“Officers armed with assault rifles...”
LOL...good luck with that .223 against lions and griz...
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.