Exotic Animals Tested, Fate To Be Decided Soon

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Five exotic animals underwent testing Thursday after five months of being quarantined.

The animals were taken to The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium after their owner, Terry Thompson, released more than 50 animals and then committed suicide, 10TV’s Jessa Goddard reported.

The results of Thursdays testing are slated to be released in seven to 10 days, and the results would be used to determine whether the quarantine should be lifted.

A veterinarian hired by Thompson’s wife, Marian Thompson, to care for the animals upon their release said that Marian Thompson was emotional Thursday morning.

“She was in tears with my technician this morning,” veterinarian Donald Burton said. “I think she has a sincere, honest, compassion and love for these animals.”

Burton said that he had been caring for exotic animals for 32 years, and Marian Thompson called him last fall to oversee the testing and care of the five remaining animals from the couple’s Zanesville farm.

The tests included a physical inspection, assessment of vital signs, X-rays and blood, tissue and urine sample collection.

Zoo Chief Operating Officer Tom Stahl said that the animals had been eating and adjusting well to their surroundings.

“Now, the veterinarian for the State of Ohio has determined that now is the time to do the exams, so we’re assisting once again,” Stahl said.

Burton said that the purpose of the independent testing was to make sure results were consistent with the Ohio Department of Agriculture.

“That’s why she’s doing it, I think that’s the whole intent to begin with,” Burton said. “Just to make sure that they are consistent.”

Ohio Department of Agriculture officials said that they had postponed testing the animals because of scheduling conflicts with the state veterinarian, Goddard reported.

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