Hanna said he "can see this happening," based on his knowledge about the animal world.
"The guy was depressed and he loved the animals that much, maybe," Hanna said.
Lutz said the Sheriff's department has been aware of animal farm for several years, and that it "has been a huge problem."
Hanna described the conditions as "abominable," saying the animals were living in "filth."
During the hunt to find all 56 animals, the Ohio State Highway Patrol had cordoned off seven square miles near Interstate 70 and officers used infrared devices during the night to find the animals.
On "Good Morning America" today Hanna said that in controlling this situation human life and animal life must both be considered, as does timing of capture.
"Human life has to come first but that's what we have to look for. We have to take care of our animal life. You cannot tranquilize an animal at night. It's hard enough during the daytime," Hanna said.
Danielle White, one of Thompson's neighbors, said that she saw a lion in the area in 2006.
"It's always been a fear of mine knowing [the preserve's owner] had all those animals," she said. "I have kids. I've heard a male lion roar all night."
Thompson has been warned repeatedly over the last decade to get his animals under control – and no less than 30 times in the past year. He was arrested in April of 2005 for cruelty and torture of cattle and bison he had on his property, according to the website pet-abuse.com.
He was charged with one count of having an animal at large, two counts of rendering animal waste and one count of cruelty to animals.