Ohio animals raise questions about public safety

BEEMERVILLE - The escape of wild and exotic animals in Ohio prompted schools to close and officials to warn motorists to be careful.

Authorities believe that the owner of a wildlife preserve in Zanesville, Ohio opened the cages and then killed himself. As a result, deputies using high-powered rifles killed nearly 50 tigers, lions and bears. Six animals were captured and taken to the Columbus Zoo.

In New Jersey, there are several places you can get a look at wild and exotic animals. Parker Space, of Space Farms Zoo in Sussex County, says his zoo is licensed by the state and regulated by the federal government, which shows up once or twice a year for surprise safety inspections.

Space says the fence at Space Farms is more than 10-feet high and slopes at the top to keep the animals from jumping out. Space supports the decision in Ohio to have the police shoot the animals. He says many of those animals are just too dangerous and it can take up to 30 minutes for a tranquilizer to knock an animal out, which is enough time for them to disappear.

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