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Man was sober when he freed wild animals

Dec. 22, 2011 at 6:50 PM

COLUMBUS, Ohio, Dec. 22 (UPI) -- An Ohio man who committed suicide after releasing 50 wild animals he had kept as pets was sober at the time of the incident, an autopsy determined.

The autopsy, released Wednesday by Muskingum County Coroner Perry M. Kalis, shows Terry W. Thompson was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of his death Oct. 18, The Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch reported.

The report confirmed Thompson's cause of death was a self-inflicted gunshot wound. The autopsy found many deep claw and bite wounds from large cats made just before Thompson died.

Thompson killed himself after releasing almost all of his exotic animals, which included tigers, lions, bears and wolves, most of which were killed by Muskingum County deputies.

Six of Thompson's animals survived because they were not released from their cages. They are in custody at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium.

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