The owner of a wild animal preserve released dozens of animals from their cages before he shot and killed himself as officials Wednesday continued to search for a mountain lion and grizzly bear still roaming the area.
As daylight came to Zanesville, a rural area 55 miles east of Columbus, people were being told to stay inside. Officers with assault rifles patrolled the area looking for the two animals and a monkey. An estimated 51 animals ranging from tigers and lions to cheetahs and bears had escaped the compound.
“It’s like Noah’s arc wrecking right here in Zanesville, Ohio,” said Jack Hanna, director emritus of the Columbus Zoo who attended a morning press conference with officials.
Sheriff Matt Lutz painted a terrifying scene of animals running wild when authorities arrived at the preserve Tuesday night.
Many had gotten outside the fenced area around the property.