Skip to main content Skip to main content

Ohio Man Turns Wild Animals Loose, Kills Self (UPDATED)

A Zanesville, Ohio, man let out dozens of wild animals — including big cats, bears, and wolves — before killing himself Tuesday night.

According to reports, Muskingum County Sheriff Matt Lutz said law enforcement officials arrived at an exotic animal farm to find the owner, Terry Thompson, dead of apparent suicide, his body "bothered" by several animals nearby.

Assault rifles in hand, officials were given shoot-to-kill orders, killing 25 animals while residents were urged to stay indoors and nearby schools closed.


A wolf and a bear were also reportedly killed on nearby Interstate 70.


After switching to tranquilizers Wednesday, Lutz said authorities are still searching for three animals: a mountain lion, a grizzly bear and a monkey.

Lutz said the incident began at about 5:30 p.m. Tuesday when calls came in reporting wild animals on the loose west of Zanesville.

UPDATE: Oct. 20 at 2:00 p.m. EST

The reports out of Zanesville now have a total  of 49 wild animals being gunned down by police with pistols and high-powered rifles. The exotic "pets" were moving toward residential neighborhoods causing officers to insist some 25,000 residents stay indoors.




According to the county sheriff, there is now only one missing animal in the bunch after authorities took down 18 Bengal tigers, 17 lions, six black bears, a pair of grizzlies, three mountain lions, two wolves and a baboon.

For now, the  last animal to be rounded up is a monkey that may have had a herpes virus, though, it is suspected to have been eaten by one of the large cats.

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player


For good measure, we took a look at what it might cost to legally hunt this mixed bag of critters. Here's the official Petersen's Hunting estimate:

-18 Bengal Tigers (if you could hunt them): $250,ooo each/$4.5 million total

-17 Lions in Africa:  $50,000 each/$850,000 total

-6 Black Bears: $3,500 each/$21,000 total

-2 Grizzly Bears: $15,000 each/$30,000 total

-3 Mountain Lions: $3,500 each/$8,500 total

-2 Wolves $2,000 each/ $4,000 total

-A Baboon...priceless

______________________________________

Grand total: $5,413,500 for the 49-animal hunt

The debate now rages as to how the animals were dispatched. Some say they could have been tranquilized and housed in a local zoo. The officers involved say different. These small town law men are claiming these animals were extremely dangerous and it would have been impossible to tranquilize without risking injury or death.

Our question is what do you think?

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

Popular Videos

Venison Curry Recipe

Venison Curry Recipe

Hearty and flavorful, this curry is simple to make and requires just a few ingredients you can likely find at your local store. The cooking method turns tough cuts tender, making it a great choice for shoulder and hindquarter cuts from deer, elk and other venison. Bonus points if you use axis deer, which are native to India.

Fare Game: Venison Heart Kabobs Recipe

Fare Game: Venison Heart Kabobs Recipe

The heart of a deer, elk, antelope or other big-game animal is an underrated cut that often gets left behind in the woods. Next time, save your heart for these amazing appetizers. A hunter's riff on anticuchos de corazón, a popular Peruvian street food you can make easily right on your grill.

Venison Pastrami Recipe

Venison Pastrami Recipe

Skip the deli and make your own pastrami from whitetails, mule deer, elk or other cuts of venison. The process is simple, though it does take some time for the meat to brine and smoke. This technique also works great with goose or ducks breasts as well.

See All Videos

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save.

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

Buy Digital Single Issues

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Petersen's Hunting App

Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top Petersen's Hunting stories delivered right to your inbox.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Petersen's Hunting subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now