Ohio Calls Off Search for Missing Monkey

It was probably eaten, sheriff says

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Oct 20, 2011 3:51 AM CDT

(Newser) – The slaughter of dozens of escaped exotic animals in Ohio was horrific but it was the only way to prevent human deaths, animal expert Jack Hanna says. "I’ve been out all over the world tranquilizing animals," and it's not as easy as many people think, especially in the dark, Hanna tells ABC. Hanna, who is helping move the surviving animals to Columbus Zoo, says the incident is the worst thing he's seen in 45 years of working with animals.

"It’s going to haunt me for the rest of my life,” says Hanna, who describes the loss of 18 Bengal tigers as especially tragic. “What happened here had to be done or else we would have had some major losses of human life here this morning." The search for the final animal still unaccounted for, a monkey infected with herpes, has been called off. Police believe the animal was probably eaten by one of the escaped big cats, CBS reports. The tragedy has renewed a call for a ban on exotic pets, reports the Los Angeles Times.

In this Aug. 2008 photo, Terry Thompson stands with some of his award-winning Percheron horses on his farm west of Zanesville, Ohio. Thompson freed dozens of animals before killing himself.   (AP Photo/Zanesville Times Recorder, Chris Crook)
A sign warns passing motorists about exotic animals on the loose from a wildlife preserve October 19, 2011 in Zanesville, Ohio.   (Getty Images)
A tractor carries a carcass for burial at the Muskingum County Animal Farm yesterday.   (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
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