PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Roughly four dozen wild animals were set free in Zanesville, Ohio Tuesday night.

Authorities have been trying to track them down, but as many as 30 were shot and killed overnight.

Many people are upset over the animals being killed and want to know why officials did not use tranquilizers to capture them.

While there is never any regulation that is foolproof, experts at the Pittsburgh Zoo said some states like Pennsylvania are better able to regulate exotic animal owners than others.

“Here in Pennsylvania, we have different laws than the laws in Ohio. If an individual wants to own an exotic animal here, there are rules and regulations and inspections that have to be followed or the animal is taken away.

“Here at the zoo, we have a huge professional staff. Everybody has a job to do and everybody does their job very well. We have the facilities and the staff to take care of a large amount of exotic animals.

“One person taking care of that many exotics, and one thing goes wrong and you see what has happened,” Lead Carnivore Keeper Kathy Suthard said.

Suthard has been caring for animals like the ones that were set free for 31 years. She has never seen an incident like this before.

The goal is to capture the animals alive when possible. However, in a situation like this with human lives potentially being threatened, officials had no choice but to shoot to kill.


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