Q&A: What’s changed since exotic animals let loose in Ohio

New regulations have brought the number of exotic animals in Ohio down to less than 200 in the five years since a suicidal man released dozens of lions, tigers and bears from his farm.

State officials say the numbers will continue to drop under restrictions banning new ownership of exotic animals. They also say care has improved and the public is safer.

Tuesday marks five years since Terry Thompson released 50 animals from his farm in Zanesville before he killed himself.

Authorities killed 48 of the animals out of fear for public safety.

Ohio’s restrictions on exotic animals were among the nation’s weakest at that time and the state had no idea how many there were.

They now say the number is at 181.

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