The hunt for escaped exotic animals was called off after officials announced they were confident the remaining missing monkey was eaten by another escaped animal.
“It looks like everything is taken care of,” said animal expert Jack, who has been helping with the search efforts, reported CNN. “There was one monkey left, and right now, we found a carcass of the monkey. We don’t know if it was eaten.”
“We still are considering the monkey unaccounted for. There is a possibility it would be loose, however we’ve had no reports from the public of see anything,” Muskingum County Sheriff Matt Lutz told “Good Morning America” Thursday, reported ABC.”Considering this, it’s a high probability that it was killed by one of the big cats. We had another that was killed by one of the cats, and this other monkey was in the same area.”
Almost 50 animals including 18 Bengal tigers, 17 lions, six black bears and two grizzly bears, among others were gunned down by police after escaping a private preserve Tuesday evening.
The owner of the preserve, Terry Thompson, committed suicide with a self-inflicted gunshot wound after opening all the cages to the some 56 animals as well as the farm’s fences—Thompson had just been released from prison in September after being found guilty of possessing illegal firearms.
Officials arrived on the scene at around 6 p.m. to find the owner dead in the driveway to the preserve while dozens of exotic animals roamed freely on the over 70-acre property.
Police were forced to gun down the animals in fear of public safety as it grew darker out.
People for Ethical Treatment of Animals issued a statement on the incident.
“The shooting of dozens of exotic animals in Zanesville is a tragic example of just how wrong things can go when people are allowed to keep wild animals,” PETA said in a statement Wednesday. “Keeping exotic animals is inhumane and unsafe for both animals and people, and it’s time that Ohio did something about it.”
Around six animals were captured alive including a grizzly bear and mountain lion and were taken to the Columbus Zoo.