Published Fri, Oct 21, 2011 5:25 am Dateline
The owner of an animal preserve who killed himself after freeing dozens of lions, tigers and other exotic animals was deeply in debt.
Court records show that Terry Thompson and his wife owed at least $68,000 in unpaid taxes to the IRS and the county, and he had two federal tax liens filed against him last year. He had just gotten out of federal prison last month for possessing unregistered weapons.
On Tuesday, Thompson, 62, opened the cages at his animal preserve and then killed himself. Deputies killed 48 animals - including 18 rare Bengal tigers, 17 lions and eight bears - in a hunt across the Ohio countryside that lasted nearly 24 hours.