Sheriff Matt Lutz
Terry Thompson, 62, the owner of the exotic animals, had just been release from prison for firearms violations, and was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Thompson had released the animals before killing himself, and locals called authorities after seeing the animals roaming in the area.
Escaped lion gunned down by police.
Authorities have shot most of the animals, which include such dangerous beasts as tigers, grizzly bears, wolves, cheetahs, lions, leopards and less dangerous animals like giraffes, camels and monkeys. Thompson is thought to have owned approximately 51 animals -- and all but three -- a grizzly, a mountain lion and monkey have been accounted for.
Schools were shut down, while residents and motorists were told to stay in their homes or vehicles as the animals were hunted down. Sheriff Matt Lutz felt the shoot on sight orders were necessary as he believed it was not safe to try tranquilize the animals in dark during the search.
Sad, very sad. What a jerk -- only wish the animals had made a meal out of him before he offed himself.