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.
TOLEDO - Five people in Ohio are being accused of trying to steal the carcass of a lion that was among dozens of exotic animals that were set free last month from a private compound in Zanesville.
A prosecutor in eastern Ohio tells The Associated Press that four men and a teenager were charged with misdemeanor counts of theft on Monday.
Sheriff's deputies said that they stopped the group after they loaded the lion's body into the back of a Jeep several hours after the animals had been set free by their owner.
Sheriff's deputies were forced to kill 48 wild animals, including bears, lions and endangered Bengal tigers, after their owner opened their cages on Oct. 18 and then committed suicide.
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.