Hahahaha this story is amazing.
Exotic animals back in Zanesville, but what's next?
Muskingum County Sheriff Matt Lutz said his department is prepared to act swiftly if anything happens on Kopchak Road now that exotic animals have been returned.
But until something happens, local authorities will not be taking any action.
It raises the question: What, if anything, will happen next?
A quiet time
Marian Thompson, widow of Terry Thompson, returned the five remaining animals to the family farm Friday --a little more than six months after her husband released 56 exotic animals before taking his life. The aftermath left 48 animals dead when sheriff's officers acted to protect the safety of the community and schools within miles of the property.
t focused the attention of the world on Muskingum County and on Ohio, which had no rules governing these types of animals.
Unlike the media storm that descended in October, Friday's events were relatively quiet --and neighbors hope things remain tame.
"I don't think they should have been brought back," said Linda Polk as media trucks lined her driveway near the Thompson farm. "We really can't see them from here, but we have heard them in the past."
Polk's son, Fred, got a scare in October when he saw several of the exotic animals close to his property -- so close he stayed in his barn and called his mother, who in turn alerted the sheriff's office the animals were free.
On Friday, Lutz said he received only one complaint regarding roadway congestion, and he sent a deputy to ask some media representatives to move their vehicles farther off the road.
On the farm
A bright balloon helped celebrate the arrival of Cleo, Anthony, Kong, Kyanne and Winnie when they returned to their home on Kopchak Road in Zanesville early Friday afternoon.
The two leopards, two macaque apes and a bear traveled well in their steel containers from the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, said John Moore, caretaker of the Thompson farm.
"They look good, and they seem to be glad to be back home," Moore said. "Everyone is happy to see them back."
Thompson has not spoken publicly, but her attorney, Robert McClelland, said she is overjoyed at the return of her animals.
"The animals are doing very well," McClelland said. "Anyone can see that they are much happier at their home than in quarantine."
One other animal had survived in October --a spotted leopard named Anton -- who later was euthanized after a cage door at the zoo came down on its neck.
Media from around the country lined Kopchak Road on Friday, as Thompson arrived in a truck pulling a livestock trailer. A forklift arrived within minutes and the steel cages on loan from the zoo were lifted to the ground. Thompson and friends helped guide the big cats and bear into outdoor cages while the apes' cages were taken inside the home.
"Things went very well," Moore said.
Sad day for zoo
The day began at the zoo as employees prepared for Thompson's arrival.
The animals already had been sedated and loaded into crates by the time Thompson arrived at the zoo about 10:30 a.m. Within less than an hour, she was heading back toward Zanesville with her animals in tow.
Dale Schmidt, zoo president and chief operating officer, said Thompson seemed happy to get her animals back.
They did not have any other conversation, he said.
Thompson initially had tried to reclaim her animals Oct. 27, but was blocked by a quarantine order issued by James Zehringer, then director of the Ohio Department of Agriculture.
That quarantine was lifted Monday.
Thompson has a legal right to the animals, but Friday still was a sad day for the zoo, Schmidt said.
"We care, and our team cares very deeply. It's a sad day to know they're going back to a situation that hasn't changed," he said.
"The conditions were not very good there (in October)," he said. "In fact, they were pretty deplorable."
Legally, the zoo is out of options, Schmidt said, so its next step is to help push Senate Bill 310 through the Ohio House of Representatives.
This week, state officials, including Gov. John Kasich and the ODA, asked local officials to intervene and inspect the property.
The sheriff, prosecutor's office and humane society all said they see no legal reason that would allow them on the Thompson property.
Assistant County Prosecutor Ron Welch said his office received about a dozen phone calls this week asking why the prosecutor or sheriff couldn't keep Thompson from bringing her animals back home.
"There is nothing we can do about that at this point," Welch said. "We are disappointed that she has not cooperated with us in having some type of inspection on the property to ensure her neighbors and the residents of the county that the cages for the animals are strong enough to keep the animals in and safe."
i don't think she should get them back.
Last edited by rachy; 05-06-2012 at 12:49 AM.
I'm thinking a bot. They asked in the Dr Who thread for someone to record the series for them.
You slept with mike so he would ban me. change your sig..the pretentious look how hipster face is so old ooh you like guys with glasses..ooooh
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