Zanesville Mayor On KDKA: Exotic Zoo Owner ‘Turned Them Loose, Shot Himself’

PITTSBURGH (NewsRadio 1020 KDKA) – The owner of an Ohio zoo filled with lions, tigers, bears, wolves, and more was found dead on Tuesday.

According to Zanesville Mayor Howard Zwelling, the owner is believed to have taken his own life. However, before he died, he let all the animals loose.

“I did get a call from my safety director and he told me that the owner had turned them loose and had shot himself,” Mayor Zwelling said.

The incident set off a frantic search for over 40 dangerous animals outside of Zanesville. As of 10 a.m. Wednesday officials believed that only three animals — a monkey, grizzly bear and a mountain lion — remained unaccounted for.

KDKA-AM’s Larry and John talked to Mayor Zwelling, who says he’s worried about public safety and that the sheriff is shooting the animals.

“It’s my understanding that the county sheriff and deputies are out. The last I heard last night, they had killed over 25 of these wild animals and there were 48 loose,” Mayor Zwelling said.

Some people are concerned that the animals are being killed instead of tranquilized, including the mayor.

“It bothers me a little bit also. I was not consulted about this. It happened outside the city and so the sheriff has taken charge of this whole thing. I have not talked to the sheriff,” Mayor Zwelling said.

City officials are telling residents to stay inside and several schools in the area are closed.

Listen to the full interview here:

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One Comment

  1. Samantha Bartosiewicz-Sharp says:

    This is horrible these animals should not be shot..they did not ask to be set loose..we do not shoot criminals when they break loose..some of these animals are endangered..such a fine example we are setting for our youth.

    1. Tara says:

      First of all this farm is NOT A ZOO I REPEAT NOT A ZOO, it is a farm that housed these Mature Aggressive Animals, Jack Hannah (Director Emeritus of the Columbus Zoo)Human life would be preserved first and foremost before Animal Life, he also stated that it is impossible to track and tranq an animal at night which was when this occurred doing this would have caused a dangerous situation for human life… At this time Neither the local news or the sheriff are speculating as to the cause of Death of Mr. Johnson, so you should not either the 46 acre farm is still a crime scene. If you want to know the facts in this case please visit a local news affiliate in central Ohio

      1. Keats says:

        Fox News reported many of these animals were shot STANDING IN FRONT OF THEIR CAGES. This was a just a sick slaughter by some trigger happy Sheriff’s. Gives them a rush of testosterone.

      2. Brad Skidmore says:

        Yup… All you have to know is the way the cop pronounced the word wolves… “woofs”

      3. zombierocket says:


      4. Brad says:

        Yep, I’m deathly afraid of a giraffe. Those things have been known to massacre thousands and destroy buildings with one lick of their tongue.

    2. Tom says:

      Better to shoot them than let them eat someone’s kid. How is a sheriff’s dept supposed to wrangle 48 wild predators? They aren’t trained for that and probably no one within under an airplane flight’s time is. Then you have to assemble the team, plan, deploy, etc. It’s not as easy as “just tranquilize them.” You’re welcome to go out with your tranquilizer rifle and try to track them down yourself. I hate that the animals are being killed as well but we need to put this in perspective? They need to act fast before someone gets killed.

      1. 31337 says:

        I say shoot them, but don’t shoot to kill unless somebody’s life is in danger.

      2. The Clintidote says:

        Great idea, 31337 – just make them mad at close range.

      3. Michele Lloyd says:

        oh oh oh!!! I say tazer them… could start a new wave band: ‘Electric Kitty.’ their first song would go platnium: “.. 4000 volts, Get over it” Kasey Kasum would love it!

      4. Captain Incredulous says:

        Tom, you are being way too rational…..LOL!! Actually, I totally agree with what you are saying, but bear in mind that the PETA folks are now posting their drivel here now. You can’t reason with those folks, and if push came to shove, they would have to admit that they value an animal’s life over that of a human. PETA folks don’t understand balance.

      5. Dan Bowen says:

        They should’ve thrown the ball. They should’ve run the ball.
        It’s Monday morning and everyone’s an expert.

    3. Sam E Moore Jr says:

      What would you say ..Here nice kitty, Kitty drink the milk ?
      You should be the one who has to stand 50-60 ft. away from a 600 Lb. wild beast and shoot him with a Tranquilizer .Often not working for 3-5 Minutes .
      I see your one of those 3 name lefties so that explains your off the wall PETA comment .

      1. The Clintidote says:

        You picked up on the leftist hyphen too, huh? It’s like waving the Idiot Left flag. She’s a dope, like all leftists.

      2. zombierocket says:


    4. David Emerson Powell says:

      The Police are not issued with animal tranquilizer darts. With large animals of unknown temperment loose in residential areas, what else can they do?

      It is sad, but ask yourself, if they let the animal get away and it mauls someone to death, wouldn’t that be worse?

      The one responsible for the mess is the one who created the situation by bringing them all into the area and then releasing them en masse. It would be one thing if the local cops had one animal to capture or contain, but they have to deal with dozens and do so very quickly and sadly that reduces the options they have very quickly.

    5. paco says:

      Let all the people that want the animals to be saved be the first to go round them up. I bet after a few of them start getting eaten, they just my change their minds. Or maybe it might be a way to get rid of a few whinny pansies! So tired of you people, just shut up and go back behind your keyboard and live your sheltered life or do US a favor and get out and go try to catch the little kitties and care bares for yourself.

    6. Griz says:

      yea right….we should of asked them first if they wanted to get loose and consume the young humans. Go hug a tree

    7. John Renick says:

      Samantha? If one of those lions decides to chomp down on your azz for a snack. you can c’mon back (if there is anything left of you) and let us know how you feel about things then, ok?

    8. SayWhat says:

      I am sure your attitude would change if you saw an 800 pound bear running toward you.

      1. Captain Incredulous says:

        ….cuz Griz don’t care how much money you donated to PETA or how many beach clean ups you did last year.

    9. Mark says:

      Maybe we should shoot he criminals.

    10. flashman1854 says:

      Leopard ribeye? This is a CAT you’re talking about. Does the idea of eating cat seem pleasurable?

      A buffalo, yes; Ibex, antelope, yes, for sure. But CAT?

      1. john says:

        Ask the people of far eastern country how cat tastes….. : )

    11. flashman1854 says:

      Oh, if only we DID shoot criminals when they tried to escape. In fact, why wait until then.

    12. Vince says:

      I don’t think you realize just how quickly this all had to come together. Finding the tools necessary to drug animals aren’t at your local wal-mart. Specialty firearms , specialty drugs that , by the way , would very different depending on species and size of animal . Just things to consider taking into account the brevity of the situation .

    13. jasperddbgghost says:

      Dunno what’s going on but I bet its’ a zoo over there.

    14. la says:

      The cops are getting off shooting and killing these animals, it’s a rush for them. They only w
      ish is was people

      1. Keats says:

        Exactly. And I am no tree hugger. The remarks on this page reflect a society that has no respect for either human life nor animal life. Most cops are just looking for a chance to discharge their guns and most are very uneducated, so thinking through an alternative to a situation does not come easy for them. Shoot first, ask questions later. The thing is, everyone knew this preserve was there. What really got me was the neighbor lady who moved in next door and then complained (this was in another affiliates story.) I mean…duh. So, since everyone KNEW it was there, the possibility of what to do in the event of a fence failure or something else drastic should have already been planned out. Not just all of a sudden it’s happy hunting season and we’ve all got a chance to go big game hunting like Teddy Roosevelt and git ourselves some trophies….

      2. JATL says:

        Did you guys forget to wear your tinfoil hats today?

    15. Deb says:

      And the sheriff should be expected to carry the proper tranquilizer for each missing animal, with the correct dosage, and also an appropriate cage to transport each species in? And then take them….where? Oh, and you’d better move them quickly before they wake up and injure themselves and other people.

    16. Loons to the left of me says:

      You are all panzies. It is more difficult to “tranquilize” an animal than to humanely put it down with a rifle. It is so easy to condemn from afar while you are chewing on your Cowburger. They are just animals. Not people. Don’t you get it? Animals. Is a cow less valuable than a tiger?

      Shoot the damn things so that no one gets hurt.

    17. jnsesq says:

      Come to think of it, shooting criminals when they get loose seems an EXCELLENT idea, Ms. Bartosiewicz-Marx.

    18. jjackson says:

      > we do not shoot criminals when they break loose

      Yes we do!

    19. zombierocket says:

      So Samantha Bartosiewicz-Sharp. killing HUMAN babies = good. Shooting dangerous fierce animals = bad. Hmmmm…. fine society we have here, eh?

    20. Burghnerdman says:

      It is a terrible thing that these animals have to be “Put Down”. However, the animals in question were captive, not domesticated. Because these animals were taken care of by humans, they have little fear of humans. Therefore, they will be considerible more dangerous than their willd conterparts.
      If these animals were saved, here poses another problem. Without proper breeding records, they could not be bread with Zoo kept animals, for fear of genetic mutations, or disease. Think about it!
      I for one don’t want too happen on a Grizzly Bear, Mountain Lion, or Wolf, while walking home from work at 1:00 in the morning. Or my daughter getting killed by an animal that is dazed and confused. I feel bad that these animals have to go through this. I really wish there were other options. BUT, there is not.

      1. tom says:

        i understand everything your saying i just dont understand why these kind of ranches are aloud to exist.

    21. TOM says:


      1. Burghnerdman says:

        I agree with you, Tom. They shouldn’t be aloud too have them in the first place. Since they are, however, they need to pay the State or County Govts. to enable the said agencies for situations that may happen.

  2. Zoo Keeper says:

    Get Marty Griffin in the news truck right away…….these animals need to be saved before the police kill them all

  3. WENDY says:

    why don’t you tranquilize them you idiots and then give them to a zoo. what is wrong with you people? This is animal cruetly. Shame on you!!! Wild or not wild what are you thinking. Give them a chance

    1. Tara says:

      ALL OF YOU PLEASE see local news affiliate in columbus ohio regarding what Jack Hannah has said this article does not contain any facts only sensationalism and speculation Shame on you CBS Pittsburgh…. You helping to make a bad situation even worse

      1. Dave says:

        What are you talking about? Why is this sensationalism? My son called me last night, who goes to college at a university very near this farm, and he told me almost exactly what is written on this site. This is well before any of this infomraiton broke out on national news, local news, etc. So, I’m not quite sure what you’re referring too.

      2. theJackal says:

        You are a moron. Even if you could get somebody with a tranquilzer gun it would take the better part of a day to capture maybe 1 or 2 animals. I’m a skilled large game hunter. You would need a dozen trained people with tranquilzer rifles and the proper skill set. It would take a week to get the neccessary people togeather. Meanwhile the critters would be getting VERY hungry in the wild. The sherrif is doing the right thing and I’m sure the deputies are having a blast going on a shooting safari in their own backyards. Have fun guys.

      3. Kat says:

        Wendy I TOTALY agree that this is crule but we also have to think of this as a real situation. what “theJackal” said is paritallly true but there should have been a plan that the sherrif had in case anything simalar to this ever did happen OR the owner of the farm should have had tranquilizers in his possesion for the same reasons. However i do not agree with “thejackal” for saying that the cops should be having fun shooting animals that didn’t know any better, and for the defense of “theJackal” most rednecks dont know any better than to shoot animals, drink beer, be rasist, wave their condederate flags around in the back of their pick-up, and be no use to our world. =^.^=

    2. crackhead bob says:

      anyoneknow where i can get some of those tranquilizers?

    3. The Clintidote says:

      Give ’em a chance to end up on a barbeque grill, at most.

  4. Dave says:

    While tranquilizing these animals makes sense, this is an emergency situation involving dangerous animals, inluding lions, tigers, cheetahs, etc. The community at large is in grave danger to the point where schools and businesses were closed. The authorities are taking action to help alleviate the immediate danger of these animals. If it were one or two animals, it would be different story, but 48 dangerous animals? They are taking whatever measures are necessary to capture all of these animals. While it’s true that it’s not the animals’ fault, you still need to error on caution and make sure they don’t hurt anyone.

    1. Concerned says:


    2. Marie says:

      If they haven’t caused any trouble, the small effort should be made to tranquilize them. If they are in the act or threatening to attack, then shoot to kill. Otherwise, this is just cruel. There is no “immediate danger” if they are just walking around. They need to be rounded back up, period.

      1. Dave says:

        Do you even comprehend the enormity of this situation? There are wild animals from Africa running around in a populated community. These animals have been caged their entire lives and now are running around free. What do you think the outcome will be when they happen upon a person or get hungry? I can tell you for a fact that there is “immediate danger” for the area to close not only all of the schools but also the businesses in order to keep peoiple out of harm’s way. BTW – my son goes to college at a nearby university, and I can assure you that they are taking this seriously.

      2. Brian C. says:

        And then, after the fact, when your child has been mauled by a grizzly bear in the dark at 11 pm in your backyard, will you be the one to stand up in front of the cameras and say, “But why didn’t the Sheriff DO anything to protect the citizens?!”

      3. MsCynic says:

        You do realize that it is not that easy to get a clear shot into the muscle of an animal when it is threatening you and then you have several minutes until it actually DROPS! In those minutes, every one of these large predators can cover A LOT of territory and plus, they are then injured and afraid. Sorry, but in this case, I think it was the only option. The owner was the IDIOT – if he had truly loved his animals, he would have made contact with the zoo or somenthing BEFORE he shot himself and DEFINITELY would NOT have let the cages open. This really is the only end result possible.

      4. PJ says:

        “There is no “immediate danger” if they are just walking around.”

        Ha Ha Ha. You are an idiot. Why don’t you go take a walk around the area where the Grizzly Bear is hanging out and let us know there is no danger.

  5. Concerned says:

    Yes as a matter of fact, if a human being is caught trying to escape prison or threatening and officers life or another human being lives, they would be shot!
    These are WILD A N I M A L S!!!! You would rather have this WILD animals knaw on your babies leg than it be shot on sight? I understand that some people threat their pets as their own children, that is fine, that is not for anyone else to judge. But these animals do not know any better than to attack or be attacked, they are WILD!
    What this man did was wrong, YES, but how can you defend these carnivores?
    I can’t imagine that the police were ready or prepared for this guy to take such extreme actions. Therefore, I highly doubt that tranquilzers are an option. This situation needs to be cleared up asap. Kids can’t go to school, which probably means parents are not going to work!

  6. Vicki says:

    We need better laws, why was this man allowed to keep all of these animals in the first place. Why was no one checking up on him, there should be better and more stringent laws regarding the keeping of wild animals in any other country but, he one in which they are born.

    1. The Clintidote says:

      More laws. More laws. More laws. More laws.

      We have MILLIONS of laws now and for some reason they didn’t prevent this, did they?

      You sound like Ofailure: “More laws!”

  7. Pro Testor says:

    Occupy Zanesville has taken a new meaning, pack up your tents kids we need to save the animals

    1. Backstraps4Me says:

      Don’t forget your pork chop necklace, you might need a snack.

  8. Michael says:

    You people are morons. What local law enforcement has enough tranquilizers on hand for 48 large wild animals? Law enforcement is doing the reasonable thing to serve and protect the people. This is exactly what we pay them for. You are th every same people who would cry a river if your son/ daughter was eaten on the way to school: “Why didn’t they do something?” Kudos to the police for taking quick action. I hope no one gets hurt.

    1. TNGirl says:

      I agree. I worked as an animal control officer in the past, and it would be nearly impossible for the personnel of a small (I’m assuming) county to carry out a widespread tranquilizing effort, especially at night – and on multiple species that may not all have the same response to sedative. Also shooting a dart gun is NOT the same a shooting a rifle; they do not have the same range or tragectory. I do, however, think it is a shame that the animals are being shot – but sometimes the safety of humans(however dumb they may be) takes precedence over that of animals.

  9. NVRAT says:

    I think that the Mayor and all those concerned about the animals should volunteer to go out and capture or tranquilize these animals. I`m sure that the Sheriff would back them up…you think?

  10. cjhsa says:

    I see he must have let all the animal rights idiots out as well.

  11. Honeylmalik says:

    They should have not been in his possessions in the first place & I agree with one person to try & save the animals . God Bless America ! These are God’s creatures & He is watching over them too.

  12. Mallen says:

    What a bunch of moonbats on this site.

    Like police walk around with tranquilizer darts that are measured in the exact quantity of every animal’s weight.

    Unbelievable. I can’t believe I share space on this planet with people that dumb.

    1. Mark says:

      100% accurate.

      Would these people rather have children and other humans killed, or animals killed?

      If there’s a wolf running at a child and I’m holding a shotgun, I’m not going to run back to the truck to find a tranquilizer.

      1. joe cartoon says:

        humans obviously, the world is overpopulated and nature exists to maintain balance. its perfectly natural. But true, god forbid if a 10 year old little girlscout sets up a lemonade stand. I am sure they will call the national guard and arrest her. People definitely have the thier priorities straight!

      2. flashman1854 says:

        Actually Mark there ARE people who would rather see people dead rather than animals.

        This is the core of the ‘animal rights’ racket.

        And make no mistake, this is part of the same group of socialists, ‘climate warming’ nuts, mobs in the street, anti-capitalist goons,thugs, drones, pawns, and dupes that make up the ‘new left’ in the world.

    2. Tom says:

      Amen, bro.

    3. theJackal says:

      It would take a skilled hunter a month to tranq all those critters. So you’d a dozen or so skilled large game vets to do the job. There aren’t that many in the contential US. What a bunch of moonbat morons.

  13. Gonzo says:

    Marty Griffin and the American Idol reject are on the way for a live update on this tragedy

  14. JD Still says:

    I hope the mayors comment was based on more than conjecture, if not, all We really know at this point is that a man is dead and his animals were turned loose.

  15. john says:

    Lions? Are you kidding me? Dead on site. This is not a rediculous PETA game we’re playing here.

    Any one of you who says “tranquilize”: Are you the first to go sweet talk these beasts? I didn’t think so.

  16. omp says:

    Why not make burgers out of them for the occupy party?

    1. john says:

      lol…. they would have a stroke…. most of these are the same people who would advocate the slaughter of babies in the womb so mommy can continue to have a career to pay for the bmw and the 1.5 mil condo near the city……..

  17. Mark Mywords says:

    You are not going to find a bigger animal lover than me. And this instance, where a sick individual decides to “release the hounds” and then take his own life, is not the norm.

    Of COURSE tranquilize when possible, but the number of deadly animals released coupled with the authorities lack of resources to manage the situation humanely, there is no other option.

    Hopefully they don’t have to kill that many animals. Humans cannot be put at risk, let’s pray they get the backup they need to save these creatures.

    This is a very bad and sad situation.

  18. Mary Wright says:

    The rate of recidivism for animals like this is extremely high. I say shoot em before they eat your young.

  19. Jim says:

    Kill em and grill em. I think the county should have a big cook out featuring these exotic meats. Bring in some area restaurants and see what they can do.

  20. George says:

    Shot himself???? PETA!! Nuts!!!!!

  21. George says:

    Shot Himself?? Yea, sure. If I was going to kill myself, the first thing I would do is release all the wild animals, then kill myself only to be eaten alive if I just happened to miss. Yea Right!! Look for PETA in this picture!!

  22. GL Lee says:

    What a joke… next people will excoriate the Army for killing the enemy. Cops are doing what they do, shoot things. It’s their job – I would be thankful that they were out there making the streets safer for my children (before they got eaten by a lion). I hope every bleeding heart on this board is cornered by one of these animals… then they’ll be screaming to have the animal shot to save their own lives.

    What a bunch of light thinkers…

  23. Sam E Moore Jr says:

    The simple answer is …. No wild Animals , Bears , Gators , Huge Pythons or Poisonous Snakes are allowed unless in approved
    totally safe City Zoo’s .

    Last year in India they killed a Tiger who had 57 known Kills ,

  24. john says:

    Why not jsut let them populate the US like all the other imported animals. cougars only get 2 or 3 a year.. what is a few lions going to do….just part of the NWO new world order. doesnt the constitution protect them once they are here… hhahhahhaha JJ for those who are ultra serious!

  25. nanaimo says:

    Sometimes humans really suck. This is one of those times.

    My heart goes out to those poor helpless animals. What horrid life they must have had and now they are going to be murdered.

    All you kill em and grill em macho twits … I hope you choke on your next pork chop.

    1. Merlin says:

      Mmmmmmmm, pork chops.

  26. Ridiculous says:

    I hear all of you on the concerns of public safety blah blah blah, but really there are bears in our woods should we go shoot them all?. Coyotes come in our yard where I live big deal. They shut down a whole wind turbine farm in eastern pa because of a rare bat being found dead beneath it. seriously dont we have game commissions for a reason? Don’t see the point in it.

    1. Tom says:

      Are lions and grizzly bears coming in your yard?

  27. Morgan says:

    There has been a massive pileup of news trucks from Pittsburgh on I70

  28. Twisted says:

    PETA People Eating Tasty Animals

  29. WorldSeriousWinners says:

    Com’on people it’s the American way of doing business. Heck ya, just kill, kill, kill until non are left. Shoot’em up bang! Use up all the resources until there are no more. Drill baby Drill, until the earth is damaged beyond repair and parched. Chop, chop, chop until the forests are gone and we choke on carbon dioxide. Use up everything at our disposal, create those jobs, to hell with going green, God would have wanted it this way. And sadly, then there were none…

    Man is the most ignorant animal on the planet.

  30. Gary N says:

    Quote: Some people are concerned that the animals are being killed instead of tranquilized, including the mayor.

    Doesn’t the editor or writer edit this sentence before submitting it?

    Who writes this? High school students?

  31. Jerzey Boy says:

    Check around Wall St., I’m sure you will find a few dangerous animals there

  32. Early Ardmore says:

    Zoos are prisons for animals that have done nothing wrong. Zoos are for degenerate people that think their curiosity is more important than an animal’s freedom. Zoos are for the ethically and mentally decrepit and should all be shut down along with the demented circus that tortures animals for profit.

    Empty the zoos and fill them with criminal bankers, politicians and their enforcers.

  33. Alan says:

    Tigers love pepper, its cinnamon they hate…

  34. Stu says:

    We need a couple lions and a grizzley bear in Homewood to keep crime away

  35. chucky says:

    you people should be ashamed of yourselves….these are basically harmless animals, since they have been cared for by a decent human. We need to be sympathetic to the animals, gently cage them, and place them back into captivity. Unbelieveable, the nerve of some of you.

    1. Tom says:

      No lion is harmless, bro. Sorry. Being cared for by a decent human being will not unravel their primal nature to hunt and kill. Camels?; ok, I’m with you.

  36. jrstudio says:

    “Some people are concerned that the animals are being killed instead of tranquilized, including the mayor.”… so does this mean that mean the mayor is being killed, or just tranquilized?

  37. HTuttle says:

    This guy needs to be fed to lions and their poo dumped in the sewer.

  38. jgalt says:

    feed Samantha to the wild animals

  39. LA Tax payer says:

    What an IDIOT!!!
    I hope they seize all property and any assets of this “IDIOT” (not taxpayers) to cover the costs of law enforcement cleaning up his mess!

  40. Arthur Leach says:

    Our local CBS affiliate reported that among the escaped animals were giraffes and camels. Not exactly dangerous animals. Oh, by the way, the Bible lists the camel as a domestic beast of burden. Not a wild animal. Past attempts in Ohio to put regulations on those who keep wild animals included trying to list camels as wild animals, causing religious controversy. The unwillingness of the pro-regulations side to bend on this issue showed there was more of a political aspect to control peoples lives and religion than to address public safety. Also, this story shows that even in an extreme situation like this, no humans were hurt, just inconvenienced. With the dead owner’s past history, this is more a failure of enforcing existing laws rather creating new ones.

  41. Ferrell Aepps says:

    This guy has all of these animals, common sense would hopefully indicate that there were permits, such as you would have to register a car… or a lion? Was there no emergency plan, with the local authorities, if there was a natural disaster, or man-made one? Other than the, oops, BLAM BLAM BLAM. Idiots.

  42. The Duke says:

    so dont be exact with the animals weight give it a guess and attempt to save them. it takes minimal effort and a lot less paperwork for the police to tranquilize than shoot a bullet. If the police cant follow a chart for how much tranquilzer to use on the animals that are already known to be out, then can we trust them with bullets?

    1. MsCynic says:

      Quote from Jack Hanna on anther article:

      ““People are saying, ‘Oh my gosh, why do you have to shoot it?’ I lost my dearest friend in 1973, or [1974] in Knoxville, Tenn. A veterinarian with all the media right there. Five tigers got loose. He tried to tranquilize one of them. The tiger jumped 18 feet. One leap had him on the ground, and that was it. A veterinarian lost his life,” Hanna said.”

  43. Simple Man says:

    Bottom line is – this guy knew what the outcome of letting these animals out would be. Instead of making certain the animals were placed in an appropriate place (i.e. zoo, etc.) before he decided to take his life and cause a catastrophe, he chose to stick it to the police and the community. He is to blame for the welfare of these animals. He knew what he was doing by leaving the cages unlocked. So, all of you PETA lovers, blame him and not the authorities who are doing their job to protect the community. Frankly, man didn’t rise to the top of the food chain just to be taken down by PETA members.

    1. The Duke says:

      So are you saying the police being entrusted with bullets cant be trusted with a chart and tranquilizer?

      1. Simple Man says:

        A bullet it not the same thing as a tranquilizer. Besides, the police are not equipped with this type of equipment AND you cannot correctly tranquilize an animal at night since you cannot see it, and this is wehn it occurred during the night. Addiitonally, Jack Hanna, whom we all know as an animal expert, said that he lost a good friend when he tried to tranquilize a large cat and it pounced on him, crushing him. He also agreed that the authorities had no choice but to put the animals down. A police officer’s job is to protect its community, and that’s what these guys are doing.

  44. Just Sayin says:

    You’re correct, of course. One should never eat cat. Hence, they have ZERO value. Just shoot them all.

  45. ala860 says:

    This is a sad situation all the way around. I realize they had to shoot these animals to protect human life but this is why I say is should be against the law for any individual outside of a zoo environment to own or house any exotic species including snakes. This should be made a federal law, not a state law. My local animal shelter told me that snake owners go out looking for free litters of kittens or puppies or bunnies and they take the whole litter. Well, they’re not looking for family pets, they’re looking for food for their snakes. Keep that in mind the next time you have an unwanted litter of anything. One more thing, I hope the owner of these animals rots in Hell. When he left those animals lose and then ended his life, he signed their death warrant too! It’s unforgivable!

    1. Michele Lloyd says:

      Excellent point: cheaper that spaying or neuturing your pet.

    2. kelly says:

      While I think it’s disgusting anyone would go out and get litters of puppies/kittens/bunnies for their pet snake(s), I do not believe every snake owner does this. Yet by your above response you feel every single snake owner is guilty and should be punished! I do not know the particulars yet as to how and why this man had this backyard preserve full of exotic animals. Once we have a clearer understanding of what really happened then I feel I can form a better opinion on this. Until then I don’t feel the need to go law happy or throwing around blanket statements to sterotype. *Disclaimer I do not own snakes or other exoctic animals just your run-of-the-mill domesticated pets.

  46. Hank Warren says:

    ATF harassment, yet another violation of our rights. Add it to the list of gov’t violations of our rights:
    They violate the 1st Amendment by placing protesters in cages, banning books like “America Deceived II” and censoring the internet.
    They violate the 2nd Amendment by confiscating guns.
    They violate the 4th and 5th Amendment by molesting airline passengers.
    They violate the entire Constitution by starting undeclared wars for foreign countries.
    Impeach Obama, vote for Ron Paul.
    (Last link of Banned Book):

  47. Robert says:

    I know, send out all the Occupy Wall Street protestors to lasso the animals. When all the lions, tigers and bears have gone to sleep after a good meal they can safely be returned to their cages. Everyone wins!

  48. Tina says:

    This is why I love animals and hate people with that feeling getting stronger and stronger. Wow, what a beautiful animal, lets kill it. friggin humans…..

  49. Michele Lloyd says:

    Unless the keeper of the zoo had jackals and hyenas, the beasties would have preferred fresh meat as opposed to a carcass; the zoo keeper could have just lain down and let the lions, and tigers, and bears (OH MY, they are EATING ME!) eat him. PETA would have been pleased.

  50. SAH says:

    This is happening a mere 30 minutes from my home. They better shoot to kill! Better those animals than my three children.

  51. Jon says:

    Big game hunting going in Zanesville. Another great attraction for Zanesville. The monkey and Grizzlu bear are known to local officials but since the mountain lion only had a few days to go for his incarceration Police are baffled as to his break for freedom.

  52. Richard Shropshire says:

    and they vote and walk among us

  53. nunya says:

    Doncha all know? Human life isnt as important as animal life:) So saith the bammy and all his rowdy friends.

  54. kelly says:

    This morning on a morning news show it only stated once the owner was found dead and that was it. It was not implied either he took his own life. The news casters seemed to be more interested in asking “officials” if even people with permits should be allowed to own dangerous animals, should Ohio enact tougher laws regarding said animals, and were cops killing them all. Way to go media once again for only reporting what you feel is *important*. Hope the TRUE story comes to light soon.

  55. really bad says:

    Very sad. Why didn’t the idiot call the authorities so they could contact rescue groups, zoos, etc. so the animals could be saved. Then go ahead and kill himself later.

  56. Lawrence E says:

    Sounds like a redneck paradise.

  57. steveoh says:

    I don’t have a problem at all w/ a Sherfiff killing all of the dangerous animals ASAP before any of them have the chance to escape and maim/kill a human being. The time it would take to tranquilize all of the animals isn’t worth the risk at hand to the community. Anyone who thinks otherwise is a complete moron/PETA member .

  58. steveoh says:

    What a hoot this is!! This guy is probably worshipped as a great humanitarian far and wide for taking in these dangerous monsters and then he “offs” himself and turns them loose on the same very community. Sorry, but these jack-wagons who hoard exotic animals are no better than the wacko lady next door who has 100 cats. Just a billion times more dangerous.

  59. ablubud says:

    The cops should have done society a favor and shot each other.

  60. L A says:

    The animals should have been tranquillized. That sheriff has shown very poor judgment, and the community should demand that he be replaced.

    1. MsCynic says:

      Would you stand there for 25 minutes WAITING for these large predators to be tranq’ed after they were shot??? At that point, they are agitated/excited and the most dangerous they have been in their lilves.

      I’m sorry they were killed, BUT there was no other real option!! This man DID NOT love his animals, or he would not have done what he did. Did he SERIOUSLY think that these huge cats could survive/be accepted living in the wooded areas of Ohio???

      Let’s put the blame where it belongs – wholely on the shoulders of the owner

  61. Ken Taylor says:

    I am reminded of a friend who offered me a bear roast several years ago. I mentioned that I had heard bear season had ended a week earlier. He said it did but when the bear came out of the woods toward him he opened it again. Don’t condemn when you aren’t there having to face confused wild animals who can rip a child or a man apart in seconds. Sure the animals didn’t choose to be released, but the community didn’t choose to become possible prey to flesh eating predetors either. The officers are paid to protect the PEOPLE and in this case killing these animals was their duty to fulfill that requirement.

  62. Carl Curmudgeon says:

    Beast Mode

  63. eric says:

    Wow some people are just stupid. Ya i don’t like how all these animals are being killed, but in this case it is the best choice. I hunt and i know that if you wanted t tranq. all these animals you would need quite a few tracking experts, rifles, and tranq darts. At night its very hard to track and would be to even get a good clean shot at an animal too with a waiting time of 8 minutes for the dart to be in effect.. Idk about you but I wouldn’t want cops wasting time to get tranq darts to sedate 48 wild and dangerous predators and then having to contain them to move the animals out of the area before they awake. That’d be real easy driving a truck or a 4 wheeler anywhere in the woods and mountains to transport em! (sarcasm) However given the fact there have been numerous complaints where cops had to visit the “farm” some precautions should of already been made. A great one would be to limit the number of wild animals a person can own or to even make it illegal for an uncredited zoo to own wild animals. It more seemed like the owner was murdered and then the animals were freed but who knows the cops got enough on there hands right now. So Peta members and other tree huggers… think before you speak!

  64. T. Paine says:

    There’s a park in New York city, near wall street, where they could ship these animals.

  65. JeddMcHead says:

    Okay, stop me if you’ve heard this one: a monkey, grizzly bear and a mountain lion walk into a bar…

  66. Lolrus says:

    Bunch of trigger happy hillbillies on this thread. You all have the same tired, lame azz excuse for killing anything ” protect the children”. If a wild squirrel came running at your “little un” you’d be ” a shootin” it with a shotgun to protect her. What a bunch of morons. There are other ways to catch these animals, including nets, but the sheriff is lazy and stupid much like the rest of you. Granted, this guy should never have even had these animals to begin with and owning them should be a crime with a 10yr sentence as punishment. But wait, oh no, that is more “gummit tellin’ me mah bidness”. Idiots. Everyone of you should be sterilized to prevent further harming the gene pool.

    1. MsCynic says:

      You are going to go after a 300lb plus predator with a NET??? Especially when there are MULTIPLE predators nearby! The tranqulizer will take 15 minutes to work, all the while these animals are becoming more aggressive or are running away (flight or fight depending on individual animal) – would you just STAND there until they drop?? Do you think they’d not attack in that situation (cornered, drugged, and adrenilen rushing through them)??!!

  67. .... says:

    trigger happy hillbilly cops

  68. Mike says:

    LOL. I’m entertained by all the “Shoot-first-questions-later!” and “Yer a stinkin’ lefty!” commenters. First of all, yes I’d prefer the animals were tranquilized given that the reason the sheriffs went to the place was BECAUSE of reports of wild animals on the loose. Sorry, but it can’t be that hard in a state known for having lax wild animal laws for authorities to make a call and get the needed tools….BUT, I can’t imagine being in that situation. Honestly, I’d probably do the same.

    Second, question for all of the “shoot first!” folks. You have no problem killing animals when they are put, forcibly, into situations not of their choosing but when animal rights organizations are out there saying that these animals belong in Africa, NOT on Ohio “farms” do you agree? Or are you out there demonizing them as being pinko leftist crazies? I’m sure the response will be something like, “They’re just animals. And besides, where am I going to take my kid on the weekend to entertain him?” If Ohio voters would make “owning” WILD ANIMALS unlawful (this includes zoos), stuff like this wouldn’t happen. The ability or desire to “teach” your kids about exotic species is irrelevant.

  69. Matthew Psomething says:

    Many people don’t know, that, just prior to the London Blitz by the Nazis in WW2, the London Zoo intentionally destroyed hundreds of animals for fear that German bombing could lead to mass amounts of dangerous animals escaping into the city. Very sad, but necessary in that situation. Unfortunate casualties of that war.

    In this case in Ohio, tranquilizers at night with so many of these animals on the loose would not have worked and would have been dangerous to everyone in the area. By daybreak, they might have been scattered many miles, with some hiding, only to kill someone weeks from now. Think about it, a tranquilized tiger might make it miles and then hide before the drug kicks in. When it does wake up, hours later, it could be anywhere- in a barn, someones back yard, vehicle, etc. The odds of someone being killed would have been much higher as these animals would also be much more hungry.

  70. stephen says:

    this is ridicules i don’t understand we people think their is another options besides putting the animals down yes i understand its sad but even if we could tranquilize them cage them and transport them to their native habitat how long do u think they will survive there i mean they’ve been taken care of their entire life the animals are not going to know how to hunt or defend them selves so ya go ahead and let people get mauled just so that the animals can end up died in their natural habitat

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