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 - Ohio officials say eight exotic animals are headed to an out-of-state home after their owner said she couldn't meet the requirements of a new state law setting stricter guidelines for keeping them.
The Ohio Department of Agriculture said Tuesday that four lions and four bears were on their way to a sanctuary outside of Denver.
State officials had assisted the Perry County woman with relocating the animals. Under the new law, the state agriculture director must authorize any animal transfer.
The owner had told the state that some of the animals previously belonged to a suicidal Zanesville man who released dozens of exotic animals from his property last fall. That high-profile incident helped speed up Ohio's crack down on ownership of exotic animals.
The law took effect Sept. 5.
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.
A federal judge has upheld Ohio's new restrictions on exotic animals after several owners sued the state over the law.