Ohio exotic-pet farm barely secured cages

By John Seewer

Associated Press

Published: Friday, Oct. 21 2011 1:55 p.m. MDT

Her brother got by financially on proceeds from a motorcycle business he sold, sales of horse trailers and other equipment and a small family inheritance. He was also a pilot who occasionally flew chartered planes for businesses.

Thompson reluctantly testified against her brother about five years ago when he was charged with starving bison and cattle kept at their parents' farm near Zanesville.

"Anybody that has animals should take care of them," she said in an interview at her home on 10 acres on the outskirts of Zanesville.

"I don't care who you are, if you can't take care of them, it's not right, you shouldn't have them," she said. "Who wants to testify against their brother?"

Deputies killed 48 animals — including 18 rare Bengal tigers, 17 lions and eight bears — in a hunt across the Ohio countryside that lasted nearly 24 hours and that has been criticized by some who say the animals should have been saved. Only a monkey was still missing, and it was probably killed by one of the big cats, the county sheriff says.

Seewer reported from Toledo. Associated Press writers Doug Whiteman and Ann Sanner in Columbus also contributed to this report.

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