Beliefnet News

Beliefnet News


Lions, tigers and bears! Town shuts down while hungry animals shot, recaptured

Jack Hanna

Bengal tigers, African lions, cougars, cheetahs and grizzly bears on the loose forced school closings around Zanesville, Ohio, Wednesday.

The owner of 56 exotic animals, apparently fearing that he might have to return to jail, released them from their cages and committed suicide. He had just served a year in prison for possessing illegal firearms discovered in 2008 in a raid that netted 133 weapons.

Muskingum County Sheriff Matt Lutz told the Zanesville Times-Recorder that deputies had killed 48 of the animals and captured six. A monkey believed to be diseased remained at large.

West Muskingum, Zanesville, Maysville and Foxfire schools were closed for the day as were many businesses. Residents were urged to stay inside.

Of those killed, 18 were endangered Bengal tigers, the sheriff said.

Owner Terry Thompson apparently had been depressed and released the animals just before nightfall. When reports started coming in of roaming lions and tigers, the sheriff’s office made a quick decision that was backed by TV personality Jack Hanna of the Columbus Zoo. He said human life easily could have been lost if the animals had been allowed to disperse across the county in the dark.  Most were killed by deputies with assault rifles at the Thompson farm before nightfall. When a zoo veterinarian attempted to shoot one large tiger with a tranquilizer gun, the jungle cat turned on him and was killed by a deputy.

Hanna had no criticism of deputies’ actions. He said deputies were justified in killing the animals rather than letting them escape into the countryside as night was beginning to fall.

Thompson apparently was depressed over new regulations that threatened his private game refuge. All the animals — which Thompson considered pets — were confined to small cages and were not made available to the viewing public. Thompson had just been released after a year in prison on federal counts of possessing illegal firearms. Agents with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives seized 133 weapons, according to the Zanesville newspaper.

The Columbus Zoo and the Muskingum County Humane Society had visited the property after receiving complaints about the condition of the animals. According to Muskingum County court records, Thompson had 11 misdemeanor animal charges filed against him between 2004 and 2009.

Here is a video of Hanna as he talked by phone to a Columbus TV station while en route to the scene.



Advertisement
Comments Post the First Comment »
post a comment

Post a Comment

By submitting these comments, I agree to the beliefnet.com terms of service, rules of conduct and privacy policy (the "agreements"). I understand and agree that any content I post is licensed to beliefnet.com and may be used by beliefnet.com in accordance with the agreements.



Previous Posts

Hispanics turning evangelical, Jews secular
Worship service attendance is up in New York City, but down among young adult Jews, according to recent studies. On the other hand, fewer Spanish-speaking teens are attending Catholic mass, but more are showing up at Evangelical churches. [caption id="attachment_12343" align="alignleft" width="48

posted 3:10:30pm Nov. 05, 2013 | read full post »

Billy Graham: I know where I'm going
“Daddy thinks the Lord will allow him to live to 95,” said Franklin Graham recently. It was not a prophecy but a hope, Franklin explained, that he would live to see the beginning of a Christian re

posted 10:02:01am Oct. 24, 2013 | read full post »

Are All These Christians' Complaints of Persecution Just So Much Empty Whining?
The headlines are alarming: “Catholic-Owned Company Wins Religious Freedom Court Decision,” “Death Toll Rises to 65 in Boko Haram Attack on Students,” “Little Sisters Catholic Charity Victimized By Obamacare,” “Christians Sought Out, Murdered in the Kenyan Mall Massacre,” “Judicial

posted 2:41:26am Oct. 07, 2013 | read full post »

How can Christians defend themselves against today's random violence?
So, a crazed gunman opens fire and you’re caught in the middle. How can you survive? Heroes come in all sorts of packages. And they wield all sorts of defensive weapons. Such as guns and Jesus. Sometimes both at the same time. [caption id="attachment_12246" align="alignleft" width="480"] Ant

posted 2:53:48pm Sep. 27, 2013 | read full post »

Does Sunday Morning Church Really Need All This Glitter, Showmanship and Gimmickry?
What’s wrong with church today? Are we in danger of turning worship into a flashy concert? Of watering down the message so nobody is offended? Of forgetting the simplicity of the Gospel? I grew up with a preacher’s kid. He was a fake following in the footsteps of his flimflamming father who d

posted 11:26:20am Sep. 20, 2013 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.