State Ag Department To Consider Return Of Exotic Animals

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Ohio officials are considering the request of an animal owner's widow for the return of five exotic animals that survived an October release.

The state Agriculture Department meets Monday to review Marian Thompson's appeal of a state-issued quarantine of the animals. Officials are expected to defend the state's authority to hold them on suspicion of infectious diseases.
Thompson's husband, Terry Thompson, released dozens of wild creatures from their Zanesville farm Oct. 18 before killing himself. Authorities were forced to shoot 48 of the creatures. Three leopards, two primates and a bear survived and have been held at the Columbus Zoo. One leopard later had to be euthanized.
It's unclear when a decision would be made on a release. The state's standard six-month observation period for the animals ended Friday.