Thompson's Wife Wants Remaining Exotic Animals Back

By
Cheri Russo

Dateline
Updated Thu, Oct 27, 2011 9:19 am

Attorneys for the wife of a Muskingum County exotic animal owner say she wants the animals back.

Marian Thompson told the zoo through her lawyers that she plans to take back the six animals that survived after her husband, Terry Thompson, released more than 50 animals from their cages at his farm near Zanesville last week and killed himself.

Law enforcement shot and killed many of the freed animals.

The animals Thompson wants back include leopards, monkeys and a grizzly bear that have been housed at the Columbus Zoo since the incident.

A news release from the zoo says they have no legal rights to the animals.

"We had hoped Ms. Thompson would leave the animals at the Zoo in the care of our team of professionals," said Columbus Zoo and Aquarium CEO and President Dale Schmidt. "We are trying to get authorization from government authorities and agencies to ensure they stay at the zoo. Unfortunately, the current laws do not protect the animals and at this time we have no legal right to stop them from being taken from the zoo."

Governor John Kasich as a appointed a task force to draft legislation to stregthen exotic animal ownership laws in Ohio in the wake of the Muskingum County incident.

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