SEPOCTNOV
20
201020112013
23 captures
20 Oct 2011 - 12 Nov 2020
About this capture
Log In|Register

US
Blogs:
Political Hotsheet
Crimesider
Investigates
HealthPop
Celebrity Circuit
Tech Talk
More
Shows:60 OvertimeHotsheet Live
RadioMobile
POLITICAL HOTSHEET
Perry calls for flat tax to replace income tax
1 of 9
U.S.
Sadness, resignation over Zanesville animals
2 of 9
THE EARLY SHOW
Conrad Murray trial not a slam-dunk, expert says
3 of 9
October 19, 2011 10:37 PM
PRINT TEXT
Sheriff: Missing Ohio monkey believed eaten
138 Comments
Have Your Say
Email Story
Send to a Friend
Share This
Tell Your Friends
Tweet This
Tweet This
More
Share It
Del.icio.us
Facebook
Stumbleupon
Newsvine
Yahoo bookmarks
Mixx
Digg
Reddit
Google Bookmarks
Twitter
LinkedIn
A dead lion lays by the fence on Terry Thompson's farm near Zanesville Ohio, Oct. 18, 2011. (AP Photo/Heather Ellers and Dustin Burton)
(CBS/AP)  ZANESVILLE, Ohio - Ohio Sheriff Matt Lutz said he is confident that the monkey missing from a Muskingum County exotic animal farm was dead on Wednesday, and therefore the active search for the primate was called off, reports CBS 10-TV. According to Lutz, the monkey is thought to have been eaten by one of the escaped cats.
Sheriff's deputies shot nearly 50 wild animals — including 18 rare Bengal tigers and 17 lions — in a big-game hunt across the state's countryside Wednesday after the owner of an exotic-animal park threw their cages open and committed suicide in what may have been one last act of spite against his neighbors and police.
As homeowners nervously hid indoors, officers armed with high-powered rifles and shoot-to-kill orders fanned out through fields and woods to hunt down 56 animals that had been turned loose from the Muskingum County Animal Farm by owner Terry Thompson before he shot himself to death Tuesday.
After an all-night hunt that extended into Wednesday afternoon, 48 animals were killed. Six others — three leopards, a grizzly bear and two monkeys — were captured and taken to the Columbus Zoo. A wolf was later found dead.
Those destroyed included six black bears, two grizzlies, a wolf, a baboon and three mountain lions. Dead animals were being buried on Thompson's farm, officials said.
Exotic animal farm owner had history of trouble
Exotic animals are not your average pets
"It's like Noah's Ark wrecking right here in Zanesville, Ohio," lamented Jack Hanna, TV personality and former director of the Columbus Zoo.
Hanna defended the sheriff's decision to kill the animals but said the deaths of the Bengal tigers were especially tragic. There are only about 1,400 of the endangered cats left in the world, he said.
"When I heard 18, I was still in disbelief," he said. "The most magnificent creature in the entire world, the tiger is."
As the hunt dragged on outside of Zanesville, population 25,000, schools closed in the mostly rural area of farms and widely spaced homes 55 miles east of Columbus. Parents were warned to keep children and pets indoors. And flashing signs along highways told motorists, "Caution exotic animals" and "Stay in vehicle."
Officers were ordered to kill the animals instead of trying to bring them down with tranquilizers for fear that those hit with darts would escape in the darkness before they dropped and would later regain consciousness.
"These animals were on the move, they were showing aggressive behavior," Sheriff Matt Lutz said. "Once the nightfall hit, our biggest concern was having these animals roaming."
The sheriff would not speculate why Thompson killed himself and why he left open the cages and fences at his 73-acre preserve, dooming the animals he seemed to love so much.
Thompson, 62, had had repeated run-ins with the law and his neighbors. Lutz said that the sheriff's office had received numerous complaints since 2004 about animals escaping onto neighbors' property. The sheriff's office also said that Thompson had been charged over the years with animal cruelty, animal neglect and allowing animals to roam.
He had gotten out of federal prison just last month after serving a year for possessing unregistered guns.
John Ellenberger, a neighbor, speculated that Thompson freed the animals to get back at neighbors and police. "Nobody much cared for him," Ellenberger said.
Angie McElfresh, who lives in an apartment near the farm and hunkered down with her family in fear, said "it could have been an `f-you' to everybody around him."
Thompson had rescued some of the animals at his preserve and purchased many others, said Columbus Zoo spokeswoman Patty Peters.
It was not immediately clear how Thompson managed to support the preserve and for what purpose it was operated, since it was not open to the public. But Thompson had appeared on the "Rachael Ray Show" in 2008 as an animal handler for a zoologist guest, said show spokeswoman Lauren Nowell.
The sheriff's office started getting calls Tuesday evening that wild animals were loose just west of Zanesville. Deputies went to the animal preserve and found Thompson dead and all the cages open. Several aggressive animals were near his body and had to be shot, the sheriff said.
Sheriff's Deputy Jonathan Merry was among the first to respond Tuesday. He said he shot a number of animals, including a gray wolf and a black bear. He said the bear charged him and he fired his pistol, killing it with one shot when it was about 7 feet away.
"All these animals have the ability to take a human out in the length of a second," said Merry, who called himself an animal lover but said he knew he was protecting the community.
"What a tragedy," said Barb Wolfe, a veterinarian with The Wilds, a nearby zoo-sponsored wild animal preserve. She said she managed to hit a tiger with a tranquilizer dart, but the animal charged toward her and then turned and began to flee before the drug could take effect, and deputies shot the big cat.
At an afternoon news conference, the sheriff said that the danger had passed and that people could move around freely again, but that the monkey would probably be shot because it was believed to be carrying a herpes disease.
"It was like a war zone with all the shooting and so forth with the animals," said Sam Kopchak, who was outside Tuesday afternoon when he saw Thompson's horses acting up. Kopchak said he turned and saw a male lion lying down on the other side of a fence.
"The fence is not going to be a fence that's going to hold an African lion," Kopchak said.
Danielle Berkheimer said she was nervous as she drove home Tuesday night and afraid to let her two dogs out in the yard.
"When it's 300-pound cats, that's scary," she said. She said it had been odd Tuesday night to see no one out around town, and the signs warning drivers to stay in their cars were "surreal."
Some townspeople were saddened by the deaths. At a nearby Moose Lodge, Bill Weiser said: "It's breaking my heart, them shooting those animals."
Ohio has some of the nation's weakest restrictions on exotic pets and among the highest number of injuries and deaths caused by them. At least nine people have been injured since 2005 and one person was killed, according to Born Free USA, an animal advocacy group.
On Wednesday, the Humane Society of the United States criticized Gov. John Kasich for allowing a statewide ban on the buying and selling of exotic pets to expire in April. The organization urged the state to immediately issue emergency restrictions.
"How many incidents must we catalog before the state takes action to crack down on private ownership of dangerous exotic animals?" Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO, said in a statement.
Kasich said Wednesday during a meeting of Dix Communications editors: "Clearly, we need tougher laws. We haven't had them in this state. Nobody's dealt with this, and we will. And we'll deal with it in a comprehensive way."
Barney Long, an expert at the World Wildlife Fund, noted that tigers in general are endangered. He said there appear to be fewer of them living in the wild than there are in captivity in the U.S. alone. Over the last century, the worldwide population has plunged from about 100,000 in the wild to as few as 3,200, he said.
More than half are Bengal tigers, which live in isolated pockets across Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, India and Bangladesh, he said in a telephone interview
"The tragic shooting of 18 tigers in Ohio really highlights what is happening on a daily basis to tigers in the wild throughout Asia," Long added in an email. "Their numbers are being decimated by poaching and habitat loss, and that is the real travesty here."
© 2011 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.
138 Comments
Have Your Say
Email Story
Send to a Friend
Share This
Tell Your Friends
Tweet This
Tweet This
More
Share It
1 2 3 4 ... 7 Next »
See all 138 Comments
by oldman67 October 20, 2011 11:02 AM EDT
Sure glad they didn't do something stupid like tranqulize them.
Reply to this comment
by Riverjump October 20, 2011 10:59 AM EDT
Autopsy all the critters to find the monkey. Riduculous? So's the country-bumpkin sheriffs dept. Bang bang!
Reply to this comment
by endpcnow October 20, 2011 10:57 AM EDT
Typical human behavior: Stupidity got them into this mess and stupidity got them out of the mess.
Reply to this comment
by credibility2 October 20, 2011 10:56 AM EDT
I commend the enforcement authorities for taking swift action against these dangerous animals in the dark of night by killing them to protect human life. Ohio never should have allowed this man to have these animals, but most definitely should have taken them away from him after he was released from jail. Some of the animals weren't killed and were found during the light of day and apparently transported to at least one other zoo. In a situation like this, human life trumps animals every time. I'm glad no humans were injured or killed by these dangerous animals. It's a shame the guy committed suicide, but if he cared at all for his animals he would have taken steps to turn them over to proper entities, like zoos and then killed himself. I think he unlocked their cages not to set them free, but to go on a rampage, injuring and killing people.
Reply to this comment
by rrozsa October 20, 2011 10:54 AM EDT
How do they know for sure exactly how many animals there were? I'm not so confident that they are all "accounted for", since this guy's paperwork many not have been the most stellar. Anyway, Halloween trick-or-treating will be a little creepier than usual this year.
Reply to this comment
by Forty-Four October 20, 2011 10:56 AM EDT
Umm, there were a certain number at the zoo. Now they are all dead, except for one unaccounted for monkey which is believed to have been eaten.
by buckn October 20, 2011 10:24 AM EDT
Wow! Big game hunters in Colorado. They must be so proud. I wonder why capturing the animals or sedating them never crossed their manly-man minds.
Reply to this comment
by buckn October 20, 2011 10:32 AM EDT
oops. Ohio
by archda October 20, 2011 10:52 AM EDT
maybe you should have volunteered to sedate them 1/2 hr before dark, i'd have paid to watch that.
by archda October 20, 2011 10:18 AM EDT
bojax39, what an idiot..
Reply to this comment
by amdnrb22 October 20, 2011 10:18 AM EDT
What happened to the giraffe(s)?
Reply to this comment
by KJeroH October 20, 2011 10:14 AM EDT
The blame begins with Thompson. He had to have enough sense to know that throwing the cages open would lead to the animals being killed. Obviously there were viable alternatives to shoot-to-kill. The animals weren't likely to roam too far. However, a sheriff's department simply is not set up for sophisticated operations required for something like this. More effort should have been made to capture, but under base systems, the sheriff did what he had to do.
Reply to this comment
by IMP578 October 20, 2011 10:09 AM EDT
I have many thoughts on this. First of all why was an obviously dangerous and mentally ill man allowed to have all these animals? Ohio obviously has no animal protection laws. Also, looking at my Sheriff's Department - look at the people who take this job, low pay, not the brightest and most of them power crazy and mentally challenged. I bet they were out there having a good ol' time shooting these "beasts". Heck, a free canned hunt. Why didn't they do something about that place before this tragedy. I hope they all rot in hell and never have another good day in their lives. As for Ohio, and this rotten town, I hope you will all pay for this. Why weren't people told to stay indoors until the animals could be captured. Like I said before, they seized the moment for a safari. Ohio rednecks. My next concern is - where are all the animal protection groups like Defenders and WWF? I have not heard peep from them. Oh, I forgot, they are too busy this time of year sending out materials and bugging people for money. Shame on you! This incident shows again how humanity as a whole has deteriorated. May be mother nature will decide before too long that a 7 Billion pest can no longer be tolerated on this planet.
Reply to this comment
by archda October 20, 2011 10:22 AM EDT
imp578, you are an idiot, which i think is worse than an Ohio redneck. What would you want in your hood? Tigers running around eating your kids? Also this "mentally ill" man fought his ass off for this country in Nam, know the facts before you show your ignorance.
1 2 3 4 ... 7 Next »
See all 138 Comments
Log in or create an account to post a comment.
SUBMIT
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. By using this Web site you agree to accept our Terms of Service. Click here to read the Rules of Engagement.
Del.icio.us
Facebook
Stumbleupon
Newsvine
Yahoo bookmarks
Mixx
Digg
Reddit
Google Bookmarks
Twitter
LinkedIn
Popular Now in National
81 PHOTOS
"Occupy" protests enter their 4th week
20 PHOTOS
MLK, Jr. Memorial dedication
Five biggest retirement mistakes
Police: 3 exotic animals still loose in Ohio
8,000-foot-high dust cloud blankets Lubbock
Exotic animal farm owner had history of trouble
Marijuana legalization support at record high
Haircut attacks spotlight Ohio Amish community
Boy Posing As Girl On Facebook Extorts Sex
Wall Street protesters plan march on DA's office
Marines to allow troops to wear KIA bracelets
JetBlue "hero" attendant gets probation
Wash. woman says dog being held for ransom
Brothers charged with stealing Penn. bridge
Airlines raise fares, but will they stick?
Boy survives 3-story drop in Boston blaze
Cornel West arrested at Supreme Court protest
Obama dedicates MLK Memorial
Cornel West won't face charges in D.C. protest
High court takes Shell oil, military medal cases
Latest CBS News Headlines
Medieval Hebrew scroll digitally reconstructed
With warped vision, Qaddafi maddened Libya, West
Rex Ryan: If I coached Chargers, I'd have rings
Manufacturing grows in Philadelphia region
Popular CBS News Stories
on Facebook
Sheriff: Missing Ohio monkey believed eaten
Climate change pushing coffee to extinction?
After toddler is left to die, China disquieted
Ohio sheriff: Only one monkey remains missing
Some sales from Bieber's new CD to go to charity
Most Discussed Stories
on CBS News
Ohio sheriff: Only one monkey remains missing
Sheriff: Missing Ohio monkey believed eaten
Libyan officials: Qaddafi killed in Sirte
Police: 3 exotic animals still loose in Ohio
Shoot to kill: Ohio cops hunt escaped animals
Most Popular on CBS News
Stories
More »
01
Sheriff: Missing Ohio monkey believed eaten
02
Libyan officials: Qaddafi killed in Sirte
03
Sadness, resignation over Zanesville animals
04
Amazing video shows quantum levitation in action
05
Qaddafi dead after Sirte battle, PM confirms
Videos
More »
01
GRAPHIC VIDEO: Chinese girl hit by truck, ignored by passers-by
02
Evening News Online, 10.19.11
03
Redemption song
12345
More »
CBS News on Facebook

Copyright © 2011 CBS Interactive Inc. All rights reserved.


CBSNews.com
Site Map
Video Site Map
Mobile/WAP Site
Help
Contact Us
CBS Bios
Careers
Internships
Development Programs
Topics
China
United Nations
Social Security
North Korea
Terrorism
Capital Punishment
Immigration
Gay Marriage
Disaster in Japan
Foreclosures
Debt Crisis
Massacre in Norway
Election 2012
Marijuana
Rupert Murdoch
9/11: Ten Years Later
Follow Us
Facebook
Twitter
RSS
Email Newsletters
YouTube
CBS Mobile
CBS News Mobile
CBS News for Android
The CBS News app for Android smartphones offers breaking headlines and video as well as the latest from The Early Show, 60 Minutes and more.
Learn more...
Visit other CBS Interactive sites:
Privacy Policy
Terms of Use
Mobile User Agreement
About CBS
Advertise
Connect with CBS News
CBSNEWS.COMCBS EVENING NEWSTHE EARLY SHOW48 HOURS60 MINUTESSUNDAY MORNINGFACE THE NATIONUP TO THE MINUTE
VIDEOU.S.WORLDPOLITICSENTERTAINMENTHEALTHWATCHMONEYWATCHTECHSPORTSOPINIONPHOTOSPopularStrange NewsRecipesBlogsPuzzlesCBS News on TwitterNewslettersPodcastsWidgetsCBS News Bios
.Libyan officials: Qaddafi killed in Sirte
.Sheriff: Missing Ohio monkey believed eaten
.Reports: French first lady gives birth to girl
.The CBS Eye turns 60
.Halloween costumes in a flash
.Lindsay Lohan's mug shot released
30 PHOTOSView Gallery ».18 PhotosView Gallery »Anthrax attack 10 years later (graphic images)25 PhotosView Gallery »Celebrity Circuit37 PhotosView Gallery »12 celebrity tattoo artists11 PhotosView Gallery »2011 World Series