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ZANESVILLE, OH (WOIO) –

New details on the exotic animal release in Zanesville that ended with the death of dozens of wild animals.

The six animals that stayed in their cages and survived the release could be headed back to the farm as soon as today.

Marian Thompson is the widow of the man who released his exotic animals last week before committing suicide. Thompson now wants the surviving animals – three leopards, two monkeys and a grizzly bear – to be returned back on her farm.

But Thursday afternoon, the Ohio Department of Agriculture issued a quarantine to block the transportation of the exotic animals from the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium back to Marian’s Muskingum County exotic animal farm.

The ODA says the order was issued because the animals could possibly be infected with a disease as a result of the conditions in which they were previously held. The order is effective indefinitely and prohibits the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium from releasing them.

There were 56 animals at the preserve. The six that stayed in their cages and survived have been at the Columbus Zoo since last week.

Zoo curators asked Thompson to let the animals remain at the zoo, but admit they have no right to keep them. Thompson, through her attorneys, made it clear to zoo personnel that she wants the animals back.

Jack Hanna, the world renowned animal expert, spoke with Thompson as deputies were forced to shoot the animals that had escaped.

“I hugged her and I tried to hold her. She was shaking and saying, I’ve lost everything, you’ve taken my children and I told her I’m not taking your children. I’m taking them to the Columbus Zoo right now to take care of them. They’re still your children, your animals, we cannot bring them back in this conditions. I’m trying to help you right now,” Hanna said.

Columbus Zoo President David Schmidt says he is trying to get government authorization to keep the animals at the zoo, but does not think he will have the legal authority to keep them.

Columbus Zoo President David Schmidt says he is trying to get government authorization to keep the animals at the zoo, but does not think he will have the legal authority to keep them.

Thompson is expected to appeal the quarantine order.

http://www.woio.com/global/video/videoplayer.js?rnd=794402;hostDomain=www.woio.com;playerWidth=630;playerHeight=355;isShowIcon=true;clipId=6391584;flvUri=;partnerclipid=;adTag=News;advertisingZone=;enableAds=true;landingPage=;islandingPageoverride=false;playerType=STANDARD_EMBEDDEDscript;controlsType=overlay

http://www.19actionnews.com/story/15890628/animals

Article Courtesy of WOIO 19 Action News

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