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 - The sheriff who oversaw the response to an exotic animal release in eastern Ohio says he hasn't received calls or complaints about five surviving animals since they were returned to the property.
Muskingum County Sheriff Matt Lutz recounted the incident during a state government-hosted symposium for public information officers Friday in Columbus. He says he doesn't second-guess his decision to order that authorities kill several dozen tigers, lions, bears and other animals apparently set free by their suicidal owner near Zanesville last October.
More recently, the sheriff's office dealt with the case of a severely burned woman who was found along a rural road and later died.
Lutz says it was a gruesome scene and that has made it more difficult to deal with than the exotic animal escape.
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.