Exotic Animals Seized From Farm Remain In Reynoldsburg

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Exotic animals taken from a farm in northwest Ohio are still in temporary housing in Reynoldsburg.

10TV has learned the case involving six tigers, a lion, a leopard, a Kodiak Bear, a liger and a cougar taken from the Toledo area back in January is still tied up in litigation from several state and city organizations.

The Ohio Department of Agriculture says until that's finished, the animals will stay there.

Agriculture officials tell 10TV that when the animals were taken, one of the lions had a hip condition and several lesions, and a tiger was found with an injury to its tail. Veterinarians from the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium say all 11 animals are now in good health and are comfortable in their current quarters.

The state says the animals were seized in January because the owner failed on multiple occasions to get a proper permit. The seizure was part of a new exotic animal law that went into effect in Ohio in 2012.  The rules were put in place after Terry Thompson released dozens of exotic animals from his farm in Muskingum county before killing himself in October 2011. It requires owners to carry insurance, and provide proper cages to keep the animals safe.

The animals were previously housed at a facility called the Tiger Ridge Exotic Animal Farm.

The state says it's been in contact with the owner, Ken Hetrick, dating back to last year. Officials warned him to get a proper permit, but they say he never did.

The owner claims he obtained insurance for the animals worth more than half a million dollars, micro-chipped them and added fencing, but officials say the improvements were not enough.

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