Sheriff In Washington To Support Exotic Animal Bill

Muskingum County Sheriff Matt Lutz (left) at a press conference with the Columbus Zoo's Jack Hanna on the morning Terry Thompson released dozens of exotic animals shortly before committing suicide.(Photo: Tom Borgerding, WOSU News)
Muskingum County Sheriff Matt Lutz (left) at a press conference with the Columbus Zoo's Jack Hanna on the morning Terry Thompson released dozens of exotic animals shortly before committing suicide.(Photo: Tom Borgerding, WOSU News)

The Muskingum county sheriff who oversaw the response to a massive exotic animal release is visiting Washington to support a federal bill that would restrict the private ownership and breeding of lions, tigers and other big cats.

Sheriff Matt Lutz is scheduled today to brief leaders about what happened when a suicidal owner apparently released lions, tigers and other exotic animals that were killed by authorities near Zanesville last fall.

Lutz says the federal legislation would help authorities track the cats and conduct inspections.

The briefing is also expected to include actress and animal activist Tippi Hedren, who’s best known for being terrorized by crows in Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds.” Hedren keeps rescued big cats at her California preserve and helped put together the federal legislation.

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