Zanesville, Ohio: Hunt for Escaped Exotic Animals

Town on lockdown after suicidal man releases lions, tigers and bears.
3:58 | 10/19/11

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Transcript for Zanesville, Ohio: Hunt for Escaped Exotic Animals
Kind of deadly safari in the suburbs of Ohio today. As more than fifty lions Bengal tigers and bears roamed the streets residents walking their homes children kept behind closed doors. The animals were unleashed on the town by a suicidal man who kept them in his backyard and ABC's David currently spent the day following this inconceivable story. And the animal scouts who had to track wild -- In Zanesville Ohio. This aligned perfectly captured the fear that gripped this small Ohio town today. Exotic animals wild animals on the loose what may be the biggest release of dangerous carnivores in US history. The frantic 911 calls. On Claudia cardinal and on mount -- written very shocked and piecing and I just saw a Walsh like this -- we'll look like a jaguar. -- social. Deputies we shoot to kill orders use their pistols to take down lions tigers bears and wolves before the sun went down and with daylight it is still. Still not a completely secure area there were still wild animals on the lose and even when they found one and try to tranquilize it. It became aggressive and also had to be put down. We had animals outside that fenced area along the road. That we're trying to get -- I had Japanese. That had to shoot animals with their sidearms at close range today schools were ordered closed children kept indoors we are not talking about your normal. Every day house cat or dog these -- 300 pound Bengal tigers that we've had put down. When it was over 49 animals have been killed including eighteen bagel tigers Ohio has more incidents -- exotic animals than any other state. It's laws are among the most lenient in the country. But I'll -- -- -- -- my dead body. To put these people out of business. The release of 56 wild animals was the last desperate act of their -- just out of prison Terry Thompson deliberately cut cages open. Before committing suicide with a gun some of the animals attacked his body. Hudson's estranged wife covered her face from reporters but did help move the surviving six animals in the -- to take to the Columbus zoo. Tom -- -- the scene -- the conditions there at port. See all of these animals. Piled up. After -- they were were killed. Because they were running free running loose. In a dangerous situation this is wrong. There is only one animal that is unaccounted for tonight -- -- -- monkey which could be carrying a virus that is dangerous to humans. But officials say there's also a chance -- that monkey was -- -- one of the big cats. -- and our friend Jack Hanna joins us now Jack I know this is crushing for you. How big -- tragedy is this to you care so much about these beautiful animal. Tragedy was for me but by the worst -- -- 45 years of history of working with -- I'm sorry to say to what the sheriff did. Had to be done or else we -- ahead carnage out here this morning. In Zanesville Ohio. You know we think of tranquilizer guns as being 99%. Effective -- you're saying it's that hard to tranquilize one of these animals. -- imagine trying to tranquilizing. And -- in the dark. Finally of the spotlight that we -- You don't exactly did you did the -- did you hit the bone. The hidden mold that means of -- you might not going to get the medicines what do we do that we send a bit daring up there the ship of their deceit of the animals down right. What's gonna happen to be able disappeared -- mislead your -- Acetaminophen tiger Diane take -- a 2000 -- water buffalo and India filming them and less than ten seconds. 2000 how water buffalo it's like an explosion going off. How long -- it's gonna haunt you. -- go home address my life and how forget what happened here today that -- that live. Well Jack I know how close all this -- -- your heart thank you so much for. Being with us right now.

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

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