Police armed with assault rifle are on a big game hunt in Zanesville, Ohio, this morning after dozens of wild animals escaped from a private reserve late Tuesday, the AP reports.Called in by neighbours, police found the animals’ owner Terry Thompson dead at the scene, his body laid out beside dozens of open cages and surrounded by aggressive animals.
Police shot and killed more than 30 of the 48 creatures. Schools are closed in four districts as they hunt for the remaining predators.
Police won’t say how Thompson died, but said his death was not suspicious.
The Muskingham County Animal Farm is located in a residential neighbourhood surrounded by homes on large lots about 55 miles east of Columbus.
neighbours claim the zoo has been an issue for some time and that animals regularly escaped.
A lion broke loose in 2006 and one neighbour told the Associated Press she recently had to drive around a pair of camels blocking a local road.
The preserve was home to lions, tigers, cheetahs, wolves, giraffes, camels, and bears as well as chimpanzees who remained in their cages.
Ohio has some of the mildest restrictions on owning exotic pets and has the highest incident of death caused by them.
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