Cops Kill Loose Lions, Tigers

Owner of exotic animal farm in Ohio sets animals loose, then kills himself.
3:59 | 10/20/11

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Transcript for Cops Kill Loose Lions, Tigers
Big caps on the loose in small town America. Late tonight Ohio authorities called off -- hunt for the last of dozens of potentially deadly animals. Apparently set free yesterday by -- preserve owner and a final desperate act before He took his own life. What followed was a tense and bloody. And highly surreal suburban safari with police officers using 911 reports is a modern way of tracking. They're dis oriented quarry all over the count me. Now they believe the last animal unaccounted for a monkey was only missing. Because He had fallen prey to a now dead tiger here's ABC's. To become. Who would have thought in Zanesville Ohio residents -- -- lions tigers and this bare -- and a cellphone. Wandering in the woods after escaping from a nearby property along with dozens of others. Yeah Milwaukee at reliant on mount Perrier -- bearish I. I just stop a Walsh I got this scene we'll look like a jaguar. School social. He was around five last night and the sheriff's department was launched -- -- became an unlikely. Big game hunt I had to run run through fields if it was in the -- a field deputy sheriff Jonathan merry was one of the first to respond fortunately as -- fire -- Who after killing a wolf stare down a black bear. Black bears then did it turn in my direction and -- directly from. A fortune news they would throw my duty pistol fired once. Killing me and more instantly. Then a lion crawled under a fence and started heading for -- neighborhood the deputy put it down to it was just the beginning. The images are painful disturbing some of the most powerful majestic creatures on the planet gunned down lying dead even -- -- -- And -- we're extremely important. Tonight I feel like me in the other deputies were forced into the situation. He tool hire blacks walls. Then in references -- a. Ohio does have some of the most lenient laws on exotic animals but when -- broke this morning -- concern was not the law. But the fact that some of those animals were roaming in neighborhoods -- -- -- that today's Columbus zoo director Jack Hanna drove all night to the scene to try and help police. I just hope they're not allowed -- tigers leopards out there that a cougar. My understanding. That might -- -- -- good situation. If they did -- day -- yesterday were still OK to just don't know a couple of days there are some tigers and cougars out there running around and that might not be of this situation. There was -- good count on how many lions tigers and bears have been killed. And how many might be roaming in the hills and woods so schools were ordered closed children told to stay inside. Those animals were released on purpose by this man Terry Thompson. He was just released from prison for a gun -- His wife -- hiding from cameras left him a few months ago is now why He cut fences gates and released his 56 animals and then killed himself. Authorities were well aware of Thompson. We've -- for about 35 incidents where we've been there and various types of incidents involving -- animal cruelty. McCain was running a large. Inhumane treatment -- different things like that. Johnson had 76 acres here in Ohio. Horses up on top of the hill the buildings -- -- kept the wild animals and there was no stranger to people in this area the fact a lot of -- come to this farm to see the wild animals in. Ohio under current. Long it's perfectly legal for someone have a tiger -- lion a Green Anaconda. And alligator crocodile. It's because Ohio is the wild west when it comes to private ownership of exotics. The animals are being very you know. But -- a very what's happened here. I'll be Larry -- what's happened here. I think this is -- the largest illustrated history of our country I -- people -- him -- but now I realize. My heart take with them. But here we have eighteen mingled tigers don't there's only 14100 live in the world the -- I mean this is beyond the tragically -- world. Jack Hanna says it's time to his home state the United States. Do something about these magnificent creatures in private hands. Over my dead body amorphous heart I -- to get this where does that happen -- the state. When it was all over 49 animals have been shot and six animals have been saved taken by Jack Hanna of the Columbus zoo. Even activists say they understand. Law enforcement agents were put in a horrible position. The real fault lines with the policy making failures. That this sort of situation was allowed to exist in the first place no one should have fifty. Lions and tigers. And attacks and leopards at their home. In Zanesville Ohio. -- says He has no regrets. I'm there was not a doubt in my mind that if any of those animals got in our public we were gonna have some serious trouble and an end and the contained. 56 animals in the situation the way we did our guys are being committed on. -- an animal lover real -- you know love being more of my whole life. -- -- -- He -- that He shares I was sworn in to protect citizens of this county community. And I feel that -- the other deputies did that by doing what we -- important. In Zanesville Ohio I'm David -- Four night.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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