Ohio bill would ban new ownership of exotic pets

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.

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