Its hunting season in Ohio!!

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Its hunting season in Ohio!!

Postby Sailfish » Wed Oct 19, 2011 10:48 am

Imagine walking to your stand and seeing a tiger.
I wonder if they really have any idea what actually escaped ... 09614.html

An Ohio town is under lockdown as dozens of wild animals including bears, wolves and tigers have escaped from a private preserve are and are on the loose after the owner of the preserve has been found dead.

Terry Thompson of Zanesville, Ohio, was found dead of unknown causes inside the preserve while the animals cages were found unsecured. Thompson, 61, was recently released from prison after serving one year on federal weapons charges. According to investigators he has been cited in the past for animal abuse and neglect.

Speaking on "Good Morning America" Wednesday Muskingum County Sheriff Matt Lutz said that they will not have a count on how many animals have been killed until daylight arrives in Ohio.

"Right now we did have [reports of] some sightings overnight," Lutz told "GMA." "None were confirmed. At daybreak we'll go back in and get a body count … we do have tranquillizers on site since this thing started."

Lutz said at a news conference that residents should stay inside until the animals, which escaped around 6 p.m. Tuesday, are rounded up. Several schools across the area have cancelled classes for Wednesday.

Police, who have been ordered to shoot to kill, describe the loose animals as "mature, very big and aggressive."

Lutz said that several aggressive animals were shot by deputies when they were discovered near Thompson's body at his preserve. Thompson's preserve was surrounded by a fence, and not all animals on the property fled through the open gates.

"These are wild animals, wild animals that you would see on TV in Africa," Lutz said at a news conference Tuesday evening.

As many as 48 wild animals, including cheetahs, grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, lions, a white Siberian tiger, camels and giraffes are on the loose across Zanesville, which has a population of about 25,000 residents. Police said that orangutans and chimps were found in Thompson's home, but they were still in their cages.

Officers said Tuesday that they have shot as many as 25 of the animals so far, including bears and wolves, but it is still unclear exactly how many animals escaped, according to the Muskingum County Sheriff's Department.

"This is a bad situation," Mutz said. "It's been a bad situation for a long time and the last thing we want to do is have any of our public hurt."

Deputies are working with the animals' caregiver, who says the animals were fed on Monday.

They're putting food in the animals' pens in the hopes they might return, where they can then be secured.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol has cordoned off seven square miles near Interstate 70 and officers are using infrared devices to find the animals.

On "GMA" Wedneday ABC News' wildlife expert Jack Hanna said that in controlling this situation human life and animal life must both be considered, as does timing of capture.

"Human life has to come first but that's what we have to look for. We have to take care of our animal life. You cannot tranquilize an animal at night. It's hard enough during the daytime," Hanna said.

Danielle White, one of Thompson's neighbors, said that she saw a loose lion in the area in 2006.

"It's always been a fear of mine knowing [the preserve's owner] had all those animals," she said. "I have kids. I've heard a male lion roar all night."

Thompson has been warned repeatedly over the last decade to get his animals under control – and no less than 30 times in the past year. He was arrested in April of 2005 for cruelty and torture of cattle and bison he had on his property, according to the website He was charged with one count of having an animal at large, two counts of rendering animal waste and one count of cruelty to animals.
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Re: Its hunting season in Ohio!!

Postby Ohio farms » Wed Oct 19, 2011 2:23 pm

Well, that should make the walk to your treestand in the dark interesting. I just may be underarmed with a crossbow. Fortunately it happened 200 miles from me. If I lived near there, I would be putting archery season on hold for a bit.
What a scary mess they have gotten themselves into. Ohio has terrible regulations on exotic animals. Perhps this will get legislation moving.
Keep life simple...if you hear hoofbeats, think horses, not zebras.

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Re: Its hunting season in Ohio!!

Postby kellory » Wed Oct 19, 2011 3:01 pm

I don't know all the details yet, but at last count 8 animals were unaccounted for. Which ones I do not yet know. Hanna is working with the cops, and armed with tranks and guns. It will not take them long to account for all. You should have seen the hunt for the "Gahanna Lion" a year or two ago. No trace was ever found....sightings, but no prints, hair, or missing pets that I ever heard of. ;) Lion jerky, that might be interesting....I remember watching as they flushed the woods for the Gahanna Lion, they had cruisers every 50 feet around this patch of woods, each car had an officer sitting on the hood, armed with a shotgun, and a line of armed beaters driving the woods cleans of everything living. No lion. I remember asking the officer if he knew that woods was a wildlife reserve, and if the lion showed, did they plan on talking it out before they shot it? He did not know the status, of the reserve, but he did assure me that they did not have a lion wisperer, and they would worry about the legalities later. ;) They were quite efficient, I will give them that.
The only real difference between a good tracker and a bad tracker is observation. All the same data is present for both. The rest is understanding what you are seeing.

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Re: Its hunting season in Ohio!!

Postby kellory » Wed Oct 19, 2011 9:44 pm

UPDATE: 56 animals total, 48 now dead. List includes 1 wolf,6 black bears,2 grizzly bears, 9 male lions, 8 female lions,1 baboon,3 mountian lions,18 tigers. All accounted for. Two animals at large; 1 gray wolf and 1 monkey. Monkey is to be shot on sight. It is believed to be carring herpies B (very bad for humans) I told you they wouldn't mess around.
The only real difference between a good tracker and a bad tracker is observation. All the same data is present for both. The rest is understanding what you are seeing.

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Re: Its hunting season in Ohio!!

Postby Deebz » Thu Oct 20, 2011 7:40 am

Fox News this morning said that the guy apparently let the animals loose and then committed suicide... What a shame to have let them loose, pretty much forcing them to be killed. I guess a suicidal guy isn't thinking things through, but in trying to set them free he signed their death warrants...
"When a hunter is in a tree stand with high moral values and with the proper hunting ethics and richer for the experience, that hunter is 20 feet closer to God." ~Fred Bear

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