Muskingum County Animal Farm: Massive Animal Escape

Exotic Animals Loose
Investigators walk around a barn as carcasses lay on the ground at the Muskingum County Animal Farm Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2011, in Zanesville, Ohio. Police with assault rifles stalked a mountain lion, grizzly bear and monkey still on the loose after authorities said their owner apparently freed dozens of wild animals and then killed himself. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Investigators walk around a barn as carcasses lay on the ground at the Muskingum County Animal Farm Wednesday in Zanesville, Ohio. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

Officials hurried to find a massive amount of exotic animals that escaped from an animal preserve in Ohio this past week.

Around 56 exotic animals were let out of their enclosures at Zanesville animal preserve Tuesday at around 6 p.m. just before the preserve’s owner committed suicide.

Owner, Terry Thompson, 62, was reportedly found lying dead in the driveway of the preserve. It’s not confirmed whether or not the owner killed himself with a self-inflicted wound like reports claim.

Officials found the cages and fences unsecured and an array of exotic animals ranging from grizzly bears to lions and leopards roaming the property.

Officials were forced to kill all escaped wild animals in fear of public safety.

According to ABC, at least 30 animals were killed on the property and later buried on the property while six animals were still in their cages on the 73-acre property—reportedly, the six animals were transported to the Columbus zoo.

Police have since been hunting the animals that escaped passed the property including grizzly bears, monkeys and wolves.

Early Wednesday, most of the escaped animals were accounted for including a grizzly bear, male lions, lionesses, baboons, Bengal tigers and mountain lions, but a wolf and monkey were still believed to be on the run.

The body of the wolf was later recover, however the monkey still remains unaccounted for. In a later update, the monkey was reported to be be carrying Herpes B virus.