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.
REYNOLDSBURG, Ohio - Officials are postponing a hearing over Ohio's quarantine order for five creatures kept at a zoo since an exotic animal escape in October.
The Columbus zoo began caring for three leopards, two primates and a bear under the order after their suicidal owner released dozens of animals that had to be killed by authorities near Zanesville. One leopard was euthanized after it was struck by a door lowering between two enclosures.
The owner's widow then demanded a previously requested appeal hearing and sought medical testing to prove the animals don't need to be quarantined.
The Ohio Department of Agriculture says the March 12 hearing is rescheduled for April 23 because of personnel changes in the department, including the naming of a new director.
The surviving animals haven't been medically tested.
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.