Tests to start on Ohio animals from exotics escape

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Medical testing is planned Thursday for five creatures held at an Ohio zoo since an exotic animal escape in October.

The Columbus zoo began caring for three leopards, two primates and a bear after their suicidal owner released dozens of animals that had to be killed by authorities near Zanesville. One leopard was euthanized after being struck by a door lowering between two enclosures.

Under a quarantine order, the animals can't be released unless they're free of dangerous diseases.

Officials had concerns about whether the animals were strong enough to survive being anesthetized for testing. The state veterinarian observed the animals Tuesday and determined they were.

The Ohio Department of Agriculture says they'll undergo physical exams, X-rays and blood testing.

A message was left Wednesday for the owner's lawyer.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)