Surviving Zanesville exotic animals put in quarantine - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Surviving Zanesville exotic animals put in quarantine

COLUMBUS, OH (FOX19) -

The Ohio Department of Agriculture issued a quarantine order Thursday for six animals currently held by the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium that the zoo received last week from the Terry Thompson farm in Muskingum County.

Three leopards, two primates and a young grizzly bear have been cared for by the zoo since Marian Thompson's husband freed dozens of exotic animals at their farm and killed himself.

Thursday morning, Marian was trying to reclaim the animals.

According to the Ohio Department of Agriculture, the order of quarantine was issued because of the possibility that the animals could be infected with disease as a result of the conditions in which they were reportedly held.

The order is in effect indefinitely and prohibits the Columbus Zoo from moving or releasing the animals to their owner until they are determined to no longer be a potential disease threat. The animals' owner can appeal the quarantine order and is entitled to a hearing within 30 days.

Ohio has some of the nation's weakest restrictions on exotic pets, and efforts to strengthen the regulations have taken on new urgency since Terry Thompson opened the cages at his eastern Ohio farm near Zanesville last week, freeing four dozen animals that were later shot by authorities.

Officers were ordered to kill the animals - including rare Bengal tigers, lions and bears - instead of trying to bring them down with tranquilizers for fear that those hit with darts would escape in the darkness before they dropped and later regain consciousness.

It's not clear if Marian Thompson plans to take the surviving animals back to the farm or to an alternate location.

A copy of the quarantine order can be viewed here: www.agri.ohio.gov/public_docs/news/2011/thompsonanimalquarantineorder.pdf  

Copyright 2011 FOX19. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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