Noah's Ark Crash Down
Terry Thompson, owner of the Muskingum County Animal Farm, near Zanesville, Ohio, about 55 miles outside of Columbus, released more than 50 wild animals from his farm in an apparent final act of spite against the world before committing suicide, on October 18, 2011. The animals Thompson released before he shot himself included: 18 Bengal tigers (an endangered species), 17 lions, six black bears, two grizzlies, a baboon and a wolf.
The animals, essentially put on the wrong side of the law by Thompson's irresponsible actions, were deemed to be dangerous and killed rather than rescued. Citizens were warned to stay indoors while sheriff's deputies hunted down and killed the animals. By Wednesday afternoon 48 of the animals had been killed and 6 taken to local zoos. One monkey infected with a herpes disease remained at large Wednesday, but because of the disease, deputies planned to shoot it, not rescue it. On Tuesday evening sheriff's deputies started receiving calls about wild animals loose in Zanesville, and, being familiar with Thompson's 53-acre preserve and the frequent complaints against it, went directly to Thompson's property. There they found the cages open, most of the animals gone and his body surrounded by aggressive animals that they had to destroy. Thompson had just returned in September from a federal prison after serving time on a weapons charge.