Deceased Exotic Animal Owner Had Admitted Problems With Their Care

Deputies say Terry Thompson committed suicide after releasing many of his exotic animals.(Photo: US Justice Dept.)
Deputies say Terry Thompson committed suicide after releasing many of his exotic animals.(Photo: US Justice Dept.)

The Ohio man who collected wild and rare animals admitted he was having a tough time taking care of them just days before he unleashed dozens of tigers, bears and lions into the countryside and killed himself.

A sheriff’s deputy visited Terry Thompson’s farm in eastern Ohio last week after a neighbor complained about his horses roaming away from the property where the wild animals were kept.

Records released Friday show Thompson said he had just gotten out of prison and didn’t have good control over the animals.

Thompson freed his 56 animals Tuesday before committing suicide.  Police officers shot and killed 48 of them in rural Ohio in the interest of public safety.

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