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I'm Pretty Sure I Just Saw a Wolf': Hear the 911 Calls From Ohio's Exotic Animal Ordeal


A monkey and a wolf are the only two animals still at large.

Animal carcasses in Zanesville, Ohio Wednesday after a mass breakout from a wild animal preserve. (AP Photo)

And then there were two: Just a monkey and a wolf remain at large after a mass exotic animal escape from an Ohio wild animal preserve that included lions, bears and tigers.

Muskingum County Sheriff Matt Lutz said Wednesday afternoon that only two animals remain unaccounted for, though he said it is "highly likely" that the missing monkey could be carrying the Herpes B virus, which can be potentially fatal to humans if they're bitten.

Lutz said 48 animals, including a 300-pound Bengal tiger, have been accounted for. Six were captured alive and the rest were shot.

As The Blaze previously reported, the animals' owner opened their cages before committing suicide Tuesday.

"If the animals looked like they were going [out of the property], I told [deputies], 'Put them down,'" Lutz told local station 10 TV.

Residents of Zanesville, Ohio stayed indoors Wednesday, with schools closed and motorists warned not to leave their cars. Many dialed 911 to report sightings beginning Tuesday night after the owner released them:

"I'm pretty sure I just saw a wolf," one woman was heard saying on a 911 tape.

Another man called in, "I just found out there are animals loose in this area? I think I see one, it's like a jaguar or a wolf or something."

One 911 caller reported that a bear and lion were loose and chasing some of horses. Another reported a bear running back and forth along a fence.

Lutz said he believes the danger to residents has largely passed and that area schools can reopen.

"It's like Noah's Ark, like, wrecking right here in Zanesville, Ohio," said Jack Hanna, TV personality and former director of the Columbus Zoo who was called in to assist. "Noah's Ark filled with tigers and lions and all leopards and a few monkeys and whatever, and it crashes here, and all of a sudden they're out there."

Hanna defended the sheriff against criticism that the animals should have been captured alive.

"What was he to do at nighttime with tigers and lions, leopards, going out there?" Hanna said. "In the wild this would be a different situation."

Hanna told ABC's "Good Morning America" that if an officer shot a bear, a leopard or a tiger with a tranquilizer at night, "the animal gets very excited, it goes and hides, and then we have his officer in danger of losing their life, and other people."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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