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Ohio quarantines Terry Thompson's animals

Oct. 27, 2011 at 5:33 PM   |   Comments

COLUMBUS, Ohio, Oct. 27 (UPI) -- The Ohio Department of Agriculture Thursday quarantined the six animals at the Columbus Zoo that were rescued from Terry Thompson's Zanesville compound.

The action temporarily prevents Marian Thompson from taking the animals from the zoo, The Columbus Dispatch reported. The duration of the quarantine order is indefinite but Thompson can get a hearing on appeal within 30 days, the newspaper said.

Terry Thompson released his collection of exotic animals and then fatally shot himself Oct. 18. Marian Thompson said she wants the zoo to return the animals it is holding.

The six animals at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium are the only ones that survived after Terry Thompson released more than 50 wild animals from his farm in Muskingum County.

State Agriculture Director James Zehringer cited the possibility of "dangerous contagious or infectious disease," in ordering the quarantine.

Attorneys for Marian Thompson have notified the zoo she wants the animals returned immediately, the Dispatch said.

Three leopards, two Celebes macaques and a young grizzly bear have been at the zoo since the incident, when they were removed from the Thompson farm with Marian Thompson's permission.

Police were forced to shoot 49 lions, tigers, bears and other exotic animals that Terry Thompson released.

"We had hoped (Mrs.) Thompson would leave the animals at the zoo in the care of our team of professions," Dale Schmidt, chief executive officer of the zoo, said earlier in a release.

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