Wild Animals Escape Ohio Private Zoo

Zanesville is on lockdown as dangerous exotic animals roam free.
3:40 | 10/19/11

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Transcript for Wild Animals Escape Ohio Private Zoo
Basically a big game hunt police armed with assault rifles are tracking down lions and tigers as -- said. Even giraffes and camels right now are loose in central Ohio a major coast to coast interstate I seventy runs right through that danger zone and take a look at the sign telling drivers to call 91 wants is some examples have been seen roaming along. Beside -- -- schools have been closed everyone's being told to stay inside right now 48 animals were let loose at this point only 31 have been brought down. Our own Jack Hanna and his team from the Columbus who are urgently tracking the animals. To be joining us live with the sheriff from the command post so let's get right to -- Curley who was on the ground there in the -- zone. Good morning David. -- -- Good morning -- it was a frightening night here is still continuing at this hour wild animals on the -- -- -- bizarre case the owner is dead the case is unlocks. Lions tigers and bears on the loose and roaming this neighborhood the sheriff is taking no chances his deputies are shooting to kill. Overnight police teams with assault rifles shot and killed this lion after finding him rolling along this Zanesville Ohio Rhode. One -- nearly fifty animals that either escaped or intentionally were released late Tuesday from this wild animal farm right now we're shooting to kill lions -- shot bears. Yet and loves these pictures another line as well as a bear killed by sheriff's deputies these are wild animals. Wild animals that you see. On TV. In Africa. Police say it all began around 530 Tuesday 911 calls started coming in after wild animals were seen roaming in the neighborhoods. When police arrived at the farm owned by this man Terry Thompson. They found him dead surrounded by the aggressive animals. Police have not confirmed how Thompson died but say many of the animals' cages were found open and fences were unsecured. A caretaker who worked at the farms -- the animals had been fed earlier in the day. Late Tuesday sheriff's deputy said -- killed at least 25 of the animals but feared at least as many were still on the loose -- -- Yet know where that. -- the cops can't catch him there won't be run wild crazy. Police -- the big cats and bears could be hiding in the darkened trees. Ordered neighbors not to leave their homes and to call 911 if they did spot an animal. Started after football. We came out here weird there are the animals were -- and I knew -- guy -- on them. And so I just I -- -- wanted to come out and see if we can find any thing. Thompson and -- animals were well known in Zanesville. Harboring as many as a hundred exotic animals including a white Siberian tiger camels giraffes and -- He claimed it was all in the name of preservation but -- scare the animals was a concern. Everyone around IC has -- -- that there -- through your deadline that was Thompson was warned repeatedly over the last ten years to get his animals under control. In 2005 He was convicted of cruelty and torture of cattle and bison. Investigators -- found three cattle carcasses on his property and then last year He was sent to prison on a weapons charge He was just released three weeks ago. And his wife reportedly left him recently. This is not the first strange case here in Ohio which has some the most lax wild animal laws a year ago a caretaker was killed by a bear. And then the owner of those animals in Cleveland was found strapped to a bed and murdered another strange case here. At least 31 animals have been killed put down they believe about four have been caged and never got out of their cages that means more than a dozen Robin. Are still on the loose the sheriff is not sending his deputy is into the woods until daylight and that's why schools are canceled here today.

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

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