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Dozens of exotic animals including tigers and wolves escaped from a wildlife preserve in the U.S. state of Ohio overnight, and police said on Wednesday they have killed or contained most of the estimated 51 escaped animals.
Muskingum County Sheriff Matt Lutz speaks to the media about exotic animals loose in Zanesville, Ohio.
According to an ABC TV report, besides tigers and wolves, the escaped animals also include mountain lions, cheetahs and bears. They got loose sometime before 5:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Ohio town of Zanesville. The animals were let loose by the Muskingum County Animal Farm owner Terry Thompson before he shot himself.
The situation prompted police to go big-game hunting until daybreak, as tranquilization is too risky to try at night. The roughly 25,000 residents in Zanesville have been told to stay indoors until all the beasts are accounted for.
The police have killed about 30 animals, and contained some more. A grizzly bear, a mountain lion and a monkey are still on the loose, according to Muskingum County Sheriff Matt Lutz on Wednesday. Lutz added that he can't be 100 percent sure that those three animals are the only ones unaccounted for.
The man who is believed to have set the animals free, 61-year- old Thompson, 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.