Owners Of Exotic Animals Can Soon Get Ohio Permits

In October, 2011 farm owner Terry Thompson released dozens of lions, tigers and other animals shortly before committing suicide. The incident pushed state lawmakers to tighten restrictions on owning exotic animals.(Photo: Columbus Zoo)
In October, 2011 farm owner Terry Thompson released dozens of lions, tigers and other animals shortly before committing suicide. The incident pushed state lawmakers to tighten restrictions on owning exotic animals.(Photo: Columbus Zoo)

Keeping bears, tigers, jaguars or other exotic animals in Ohio will soon require a new state-issued permit.

Owners can start applying for the permits Tuesday, as the final parts of the state’s crackdown on dangerous wild animals sets in.

Owners who don’t breed animals will apply for a wildlife shelter permit. They must pass a background check and pay fees from $250 to more than $1,000.

Ohio officials can seize the animals if owners are found housing them without a permit starting next year.

The state’s law was strengthened following the release of dozens of animals including lions and tigers by their suicidal owner in 2011.

Breeders and rescue facilities also will need permits.

Some sanctuaries, circuses, research institutions and accredited facilities are exempted.

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