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Man sets his exotic animals free before dying of self-inflicted wounds

A man in Zanesville, Ohio died from self-inflicted injuries on Tuesday, but not before he released a number of big cats and other wild animals that had been in his care. Terry Thompson had about 50 exotic animals living on his farm in the rural Ohio town. USA Today reports that officials received word of the incident and when authorities arrived, there were wild animals - lions, tigers, bears and more - all over the property and surrounding areas.

"We are not talking about your normal, everyday housecat or dog," Muskingum County Sheriff Matt Lutz explained to reporters, according to CNN. "These are 300-pound Bengal tigers that we have to put down. When we got here, obviously safety was my number one concern. We could not have animals running loose in this county."

Unfortunately, police had to kill a number of the beasts for the safety of area residents. They attempted to tranquilize a tiger, but when a veterinarian got close enough, Lutz told reporters that it freaked out and ran toward the woods, and they were forced to put it down, which caused quite a bit of commotion among animal rights groups, according to the Washington Post.

Schools were closed the following day and local residents were urged to stay in their homes.The Post reports that the missing bear and mountain lion have been put down and the monkey and a lion are still unaccounted for.
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