Ohio Quarantines Animals, Keeps Widow From Reclaiming
Marian Thompson may get them eventually, however
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Oct 27, 2011 4:04 PM CDT
This photo provided by the Columbus Zoo shows one of three leopards captured after being released.   (AP Photo/Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, Grahm S. Jones)

(Newser) – The widow of the Ohio man who freed exotic animals before killing himself hoped to reclaim the surviving animals today—but the state has quarantined them instead, at least for the time being. Six of the creatures remain following dozens of executions: Three leopards, two macaques, and a grizzly bear, the Columbus Dispatch reports. They’ll be quarantined indefinitely at the Columbus Zoo.

The quarantine was ordered to prevent the spread of “dangerous contagious or infectious disease,” said the state agriculture director. Marian Thompson can appeal the order and receive a hearing in 30 days, while the zoo hopes to keep the animals for good. “We are trying to get authorization from government authorities and agencies to ensure they stay at the zoo," said its CEO. "Unfortunately, the current laws do not protect the animals and at this time we have no legal right to stop them from being taken from the zoo.”