Hearing over Zanesville exotic animal quarantine delayed

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.

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