Muskingum County Exotic Animal Documents Detail Conditions

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Reports released today show that a caretaker had been buying 2,000 pounds of chicken weekly for exotic animals set free by their eastern Ohio owner this fall before he killed himself.

In documents posted online by the Muskingum County Sheriff's Office, an investigator writes that the caretaker said "those cats were not starved" when Terry Thompson opened their cages and shot himself. Police killed 48 of the animals, including lions and bears, as they spread into the community outside Zanesville on Oct. 18-19.
The documents also show a lion that appeared to have died in one of the cages days earlier and was being eaten by other lions.
A Columbus Zoo official had told a state committee about a week later that the condition of animals on the farm was "horrific."