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Disputed exotic pets in Ohio to be quarantined

October 28, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Six exotic animals in Ohio were ordered quarantined and not transferred from a zoo to the wife of the man who released them and many others, then killed himself, Ohio Gov. John Kasich's office said Thursday.

The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium was trying to stop Marian Thompson from taking back three leopards, two primates and a young grizzly bear that were under the zoo's care since last week when Terry Thompson set them free in Zanesville, a rural area of eastern Ohio.

Four dozen animals were later shot by authorities. Officers were ordered to shoot the animals, including rare Bengal tigers, lions and bears instead of trying to bring them down with tranquilizers for fear that those hit with darts would escape in the darkness before they dropped and later regain consciousness.

The zoo said it took in the six surviving animals with Marian Thompson's permission. However, the zoo has no legal rights to the animals.

A private veterinarian for the Agriculture Department looked at the animals Thursday and determined they needed to be quarantined, a spokesman for the governor said.

Though the quarantine order is indefinite, Thompson is entitled to a hearing within 30 days if she wants to appeal the order.

It wasn't clear whether Marian Thompson wants to take the surviving animals back to the farm or to an alternate location.

Until earlier this year, Ohio was under an executive order that

The Associated Press contributed to this story.