Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Lions and Tigers and Bears, Ohio!!!

Yep, you've heard it by now.

Schools shuttered and some frightened residents said they were hunkering down in their homes as sheriff’s deputies hunted lions, tigers, leopards and grizzly bears that escaped from a preserve after the death of the owner.

Police have not yet said how Terry Thompson died, but Zanesville Mayor Howard Zwelling told CNN Wednesday that Thompson freed the animals from their pens and then shot himself.

Thompson owned 48 exotic animals. About 30 to 35 of them had been found, said Muskingum County Sheriff Matt Lutz. Those that had escaped from their pens were put down.

At this writing, a mountain lion, a grizzly bear, and a monkey are still unaccounted for. The mountain lion has the best chance of getting away, if he gets far enough southeast and mixes with others. The grizzly is common to Alaska and western Canada, but not the eastern USA, never mind Ohio. As for the monkey ... well, expect a tall tale from more than one farmer before he's brought in. But the real challenge is for motorists who stray off of I-70 in that part of the state before the lion and/or bear are caught, as cell phone coverage east of Zanesville is some of the worst in the state. Believe me, you get on Route 22 out of Steubenville, and that piece of hardware may as well be a paperweight.

THIS JUST IN! We finally got video, courtesy of ABC affiliate WSYX in Columbus, Ohio, by way of the Associated Press, all without permission or shame.

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