By: THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
ZANESVILLE, Ohio - A sheriff says exotic animals on the loose in eastern Ohio were set free by their owner, who apparently killed himself on his farm.
Muskingum County Sheriff Matt Lutz said at a news conference Wednesday that investigators feel Terry Thompson died from a self-inflicted wound. Lutz says authorities are awaiting autopsy results on the cause of death.
The sheriff says it appears Thompson left the animals' gates open and even cut open their pens so they would get out. The animals included lions and bears.
Deputies found Thompson's body on Tuesday when they went to the farm on Tuesday on reports of wild animals running free.
Officials spent the night hunting down and shooting to death most of the nearly 50 animals.
- Tom Borderding, News Managing Editor for WOSU Public Radio in Columbus Ohio
This segment aired on October 19, 2011.