The exotic animal emergency in Zanesville, Ohio is apparently over, with authorities forced to shoot almost all of the animals that were allegedly released by the owner of a private zoo before he killed himself.

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The hunt for dozens of exotic animals that escaped from a private preserve and put an Ohio town on lockdown has been called off after officials said they are confident that the final missing monkey was eaten by another escaped animal. A total of 49 wild animals were gunned down by police with pistols and high-powered rifles after escaping from a private preserve in Zanesville, Ohio Tuesday. The animals were moving into nearby neighborhoods, forcing residents of the town of 25,000 to stay indoors.


_”…The 49 animals that were slaughtered between Tuesday and Wednesday included 18 Bengal tigers, 17 lions, six black bears, a pair of grizzlies, three mountain lions, two wolves and a baboon. The dead animals will be buried on the preserve, officials said. The six surviving animals are currently at the Columbus Zoo where they are getting around the clock care. The animals escaped from the 73-acre preserve owned by Terry Thompson, who had killed himself, according to Muskingum County Sheriff Matt Lutz.

“We feel that Mr. Thompson died from a self-inflicted wound. We also feel he had released these animals at some point. Not only were the gates open but some of the pens were open,” Lutz said. “These killings were senseless. For our guys to have to do this — it was nonsense, it was crazy–there were some very close calls,” the sheriff said, adding that at times it was “almost hand to hand” combat with the animals. “These are 300 pound Bengal tigers that we had to put down.”_

In the aftermath of the carnage, many are questioning why Thompson was allowed to have the animals in the first place. So what do you think? Should a regular citizen be permitted to have so many exotic animals on their private property?