Hundreds of curiosity-seekers, horse-traders and others have attended an auction of the estate of a suicidal man who released dozens of exotic animals in eastern Ohio almost two years ago.
COLUMBUS, Ohio - Activists urging Ohio officials to prohibit ownership of exotic animals say they believe such a ban could have prevented the deaths of four dozen tigers, lions and other beasts that were freed at a farm near Zanesville.
About a dozen supporters of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals stood outside the Statehouse on Wednesday with signs bearing slogans such as "Wild animals are not pets."
The gathering was spurred by the shooting by authorities of 48 animals released by a farm owner last week before he committed suicide. Six other animals were captured and taken to a zoo.
Ohio has some of the nation's weakest restrictions on exotic pets. Gov. John Kasich has ordered temporary measures regarding private ownership of such animals while tougher laws are drafted.
Attorneys for Ohio told a federal appeals court Wednesday that the state's exotic animal law gives owners a pathway to keep the creatures if they choose and doesn't violate their constitutional rights.
Owners of exotic animals in Ohio would be required to meet new caging, safety and caretaking standards under proposed rules slated for review Wednesday by a legislative panel.
The types of animals being held at Ohio's new holding facility for exotic creatures won't be released to the public, mainly to deter anyone from trying to gain access to them, state Agriculture Director David Daniels said Thursday.