Six Exotic Animals Saved from Ohio Tragedy, Resting At Columbus Zoo
A young grizzly bear, three leopards and two monkeys rescued this week from a backyard farm are adjusting to their new homes at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. The two monkeys were easily transported from the Muskingum County Animal Farm, but the four larger and more dangerous animals had to be sedated, Doug Warmolts, director of animal care at the zoo, told The Los Angeles Times.
Acording to Warmolts, the animals seem to be quietly adjusting to their new diets and recovering nicely, "They are doing well," he said. "We had a close watch on them to make sure they came out of the anesthesia, but by early evening they were up and moving around." He added: "They are calm. They are not angry or aggressive; they are just being very quiet," he told The Times.
The animals were let loose this week when Terry W. Thompson threw open the cages and slashed open the pens at his makeshift zoo, letting all the animals loose before turning a gun on himself. Authorities are still searching for a motive, although there are some unfolding suggestions that he was in deep debt.
In all, authorities killed 49 animals, including 18 tigers and a baboon. Much controversy has erupted regarding the actions of the authorities as well as the lax laws than enabled Thompson to keep these animals in such conditions. The six animals now at the Columbus Zoo are the only ones who were saved and they are being held in an isolated area, away from the public.
You Can Help: An Outpouring of Concern
The zoo has been flooded with callers from around the country asking about the animals' welfare, and offering to help defray the costs for their care. A special Web page has been set up and can be found here if you are interested in helping support these innocent animals.
Photo Source: ( Grahm S. Jones / Columbus Zoo and Aquarium)