The widow of the man who let all the exotic animals out of their cages and then committed suicide wants the six remaining animals back. On Thursday, the state of Ohio intervened to stop her from getting them back. There has been a quarantine order for the two monkeys, one grizzly bear, and three leopards, which are currently at the Columbus Zoo.
On Thursday her attorney notified the zoo that she was going to collect the six animals and take them back to the farm but she left empty-handed. A spokesperson for the governor’s office said that the biggest concern is the animals and the threat to public safety and health in Zanesville if they should get loose again. They are planning on using whatever legal tools to protect both the people and the animals.
Her husband did not leave a note as to why he released the animals or committed suicide. Releasing the animals resulted in forty-nine of them dying and being buried on the farm where they had lived. At this time, the six animals are going to remain at the Columbus Zoo until it has been decided what to do with them.
According to the sheriff’s report, the animals that resided on the farm were living in squalid conditions and that the owner had a history of being cruel to the animals. Although the quarantine can remain in effect indefinitely, the widow can request a legal hearing within thirty days.
At this time, Ohio is just one of seven states that do not restrict the ownership of exotic animals. The other six states include Alabama, North and South Carolina, Nevada, Wisconsin, and West Virginia.