Lions, and tigers, and bears, oh my!

Dozens and dozens of exotic animals, including big cats, bears, wolves, camels and even giraffes, escaped from a local animal sanctuary in Zanesville, Ohio after their owner set them free just before he allegedly killed himself.

After some of the animals were spotted along a nearby highway, police arrived at the farm and found the owner, Terry Thompson, dead, and the animals’ cages were open.

“These are wild animals that you would see on TV in Africa,” the local sheriff said.

Though officials haven’t disclosed exactly how Thompson died, it’s being widely reported that he committed suicide (via a gunshot wound to the head), and he let the animals out on purpose as a big middle finger to the rural town.

Thompson, who lived on the property, also had orangutans and chimpanzees in his home, but those animals were still in their cages when police arrived.

As a result of the break-out, several schools nears the wild-animal preserve were closed Wednesday, and area residents were urged to stay inside.

Sheriff Matt Lutz called the escaped animals “mature, very big, aggressive,” and says his men had to unfortunately shoot of some of animals on sight.

“Any kind of cat species or bear species is what we are concerned about,” explained the sheriff. “We don’t know how much of a head start these animals have on us.”

Thankfully, not all of the animals were killed, and the ones who were able to be safely rescued, including three leopards, a grizzly bear and two monkeys, are now being cared for at the Columbus Zoo.

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