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 - Proposed legislation in Ohio would allow owners of lions, bears, gorillas and other exotic animals to keep the pets if they meet new strict requirements, but it would not allow any new purchases.
State Sen. Troy Balderson of Zanesville sent a letter Friday afternoon to state lawmakers, asking them to sign on to his proposal. He plans to introduce the bill Tuesday and hearings are also planned next week.
Zoo, circuses and research facilities would be exempt from the ban.
Efforts to strengthen the state's law took on new urgency in October when authorities were forced to kill 48 wild animals -- including endangered Bengal tigers -- after their owner freed them from his Zanesville farm 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.