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(Fox News)–Authorities in Ohio are urging people to stay inside their homes while officers with assault rifles hunt for a “handful” of potentially dangerous exotic animals that escaped from a wild-animal preserve on Tuesday. Deputies said Wednesday that they had killed or captured most of the animals that escaped from the Muskingum County Animal Farm in Zanesville after the owner threw their cages open and committed suicide. After an all-night hunt, almost all of the 48 escaped animals, which included lions and bears, had been killed or captured. As of Wednesday afternoon, officers were still hunting for a wolf and ape, authorities said. Mike Dodd with the Muskingum County Sheriff’s Office told FoxNews.com that authorities are urging the public to “keep your eyes open.” Schools were also closed, parents were warned to keep children and pets indoors and flashing signs along highways told motorists, “Caution exotic animals” and “Stay in vehicle.” “It’s like Noah’s ark, like, wrecking right here in Zanesville, Ohio,” said Jack Hanna, former director of the Columbus Zoo. “Noah’s ark filled with tigers and lions and all leopards and a few monkeys and whatever, and it crashes here and all of a sudden they’re out there.”Neighbor Danielle White, whose father’s property abuts the Muskingum County Animal Farm, said she didn’t see loose animals this time but did in 2006, when a lion escaped. “It’s always been a fear of mine knowing (the owner) had all those animals,” she said. “I have kids. I’ve heard a male lion roar all night.”Officers in the mostly rural area about 55 miles east of Columbus were under orders to shoot to kill for fear that animals hit with tranquilizer darts would run off and hide in the darkness. The owner of the preserve, Terry Thompson, left the cages open and the fences unsecured, releasing dozens of animals, including lions, tigers, bears and wolves, before committing suicide, said Muskingum County Sheriff Matt Lutz. Authorities would not say how he killed himself and no suicide note was found. Lutz wouldn’t speculate on why he committed suicide. But Thompson had had repeated run-ins with the law, and Lutz said the sheriff’s office had received numerous complaints since 2004 about animals at the property.”This is a bad situation,” the sheriff said. “It’s been a situation for a long time.”Hanna said that of the three animals believed to be unaccounted for, he was most concerned about the mountain lion, because of its impressive leaping ability. He said anyone confronting these animals should not run, because they will give chase. Hanna defended the sheriff against criticism that the animals should have been captured alive. “What was he to do at nighttime with tigers and lions, leopards, going out there?” Hanna said. “In the wild this would be a different situation. “The preserve in Zanesville had lions, tigers, cheetahs, wolves, giraffes, camels and bears. Lutz called the animals “mature, very big, aggressive” but said a caretaker told authorities they had been fed on Monday.

So I watched the video about this whole incident…some former animal scientist guy gave the old “These animals are more scared than you are” line…umm BULLSHIT!!!  Hey bro, the reason they escaped was that they killed the zoo keeper.  Straight up murdered his ass, made it look like a suicide, and then fled. Pretty sure these are the smartest, scariest, most cold blooded killers ever to hit the streets of Zanesville, Ohio.  I would be scared out of my effing mind if I saw a Lion, Grizzly, wolf, or a cheetah running through my neighborhood. I still can’t figure out why this guy was allowed to have his backyard look like Pride Rock.  Like wtf? It’s been “a bad situation” since 2004.  Guess what…any time you import Africa…its gonna be a bad situation.  Just be thankful all that happened was Jumanji and that these animals weren’t spreading HIV or Malaria.
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