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Jack Hanna Urges Tough Rules on Exotic Animals

Exotic Animals Ohio

Oct. 19, 2011: Carcasses lay on the ground at the Muskingum County Animal Farm in Zanesville, Ohio. Sheriff's deputies shot 48 animals, including 18 rare Bengal tigers and 17 lions, after Terry Thompson, owner of the private Muskingum County Animal Farm near Zanesville, threw their cages open Tuesday and then committed suicide.AP2011

COLUMBUS, Ohio-- Notable animal expert Jack Hanna has urged a state panel to draw up strict rules for owning exotic animals in Ohio, where a man set loose more than 50 beasts last week and then killed himself.

TV personality Hanna, the former Columbus Zoo director, says he told a working committee during its closed-door meeting on Monday that Ohio must make sure that what just happened never happens again. Police killed dozens of the released animals while schools closed and motorists were warned to stay in their vehicles.

Hanna told The Columbus Dispatch that his message was: "No more lions and tigers and bears as pets."

Gov. John Kasich on Friday ordered a temporary crackdown on private ownership of exotic wild animals. The study committee has until Nov. 30 to draft permanent legislation.

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