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Widow Tries To Retrieve Rescued Exotic Animals

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The widow of the Zanesville man whose 49 exotic animals were killed by sheriff's deputies last week wants six animals that were rescued back from the Columbus Zoo where they are now being held. But the state isn't letting that happen….at least for now. Ohio Public Radio's Jo Ingles reports.

Thursday, October 27, 2011 at 5:17 pm

For a week now, the Columbus Zoo has been home to three leopards, two Celebes macaques and a young grizzly bear that were rescued from a private farm near Zanesville last week.

But that arrangement is only temporary. The widow of Terry Thompson did not permanently surrender ownership of the animals and she wants the animals back, and showed up at the zoo to try to get them.

But she was turned away empty handed because the Ohio Department of Agriculture issued a quarantine on the animals while veterinarians do tests to determine their health. The quarantine is indefinite; however, the owner of the animals is allowed a hearing in the matter within 30 days.

In the meantime, state leaders are continuing to explore legal and legislative options. Ohio currently has no laws on the books limiting the private ownership of exotic animals but Governor Kasich has issued an executive order, asking state agencies to use all of their available powers to deal with the animals in any way possible until the legislature passes a law.

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