presents: Mass Murder of Wild Animals in Ohio. Horrific.
48 animals dead including a variety of wild felines and bears.
18 Rare Bengal Tigers
6 Black Beers
3 Mountain Lions
These animals could have been saved if the authority talked to the expert and if they used tranquilizer.
Amid expressions of horror and revulsion at the killing of dozens of wild animals in Ohio — and photographs of their bloody carcasses — animal rights advocates agreed there was little local authorities could have done to save the dangerous creatures once they began roaming the countryside after their owner released them before taking his own life.
Sheriff's deputies shot 48 animals — including 18 rare Bengal tigers and 17 lions — after Terry Thompson, owner of the private Muskingum County Animal Farm near Zanesville, threw their cages open Tuesday and then committed suicide.
Thompson died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound and also had a bite wound on the head that appeared to have come from a large cat, such as a Bengal tiger, county Sheriff Matt Lutz said Thursday morning.
It appeared the bite occurred quickly after Thompson shot himself and that his body had been dragged a short distance, Lutz said.
"What a tragedy," said veterinarian Barb Wolfe, of The Wilds animal preserve sponsored by the Columbus Zoo. "We knew that ... there were so many dangerous animals at this place that eventually something bad would happen, but I don't think anybody really knew it would be this bad."
The sheriff would not speculate why Thompson took his own life. "We don't know what he was thinking," said Lutz, who added that finding out the reasons why wasn't the focus on his investigation.
Neighbors made it clear that Thompson loved the animals and would not have wanted them hurt.
"He liked animals more than he did people. He really did," said Fred Polk, whose farm is within sight of Thompson's home.