Big Cat Chomped on Ohio Exotic Animal Owner
Cops dealing with fallout from grisly animal case
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 21, 2011 1:00 AM CDT
Updated Oct 21, 2011 2:50 AM CDT
This August 2008 photo shows Terry Thompson on his farm west of Zanesville, Ohio.    (AP Photo/Zanesville Times Recorder, Chris Crook)
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(Newser) – Terry Thompson died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound but one of the dozens of exotic animals he freed before killing himself would have killed him if he'd waited any longer, police say. Investigators found bite marks on the Ohio man's head that appear to be from a big cat, most likely one of his 18 Bengal tigers—and his body had been dragged for a short distance, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The local sheriff says his officers are working to protect the farm property from the many people who have flooded the department for requests for the carcasses. Angry animal rights activists have also been calling, and some officers are suffering emotional fallout from having had to execute so many animals. The sheriff says he has spoken with Ohio's governor, who has promised to introduce stricter laws on keeping exotic animals. "I'll do anything I have to do to make this never happen again," the sheriff said.