If you’re driving along Interstate 70 near Zanesville, Ohio authorities are warning you to stay in your car. If not, you could stumble upon a black bear, or lion, or even a giraffe.
Electronic signs along the highway are flashing with the warning “Caution: exotic animals” and “Stay in vehicle” after as many as 48 animals have escaped from an illegal zoo. The property owner, Terry Thompson, was found dead with many of the animal cages left open. It is not yet known how Thompson died.
Sheriff Matt Lutz described the animals as, “mature, very large and aggressive,” and said that the biggest danger comes from the grizzly and black bears, as well as the cheetahs, lions and tigers.
Several wolves have already been killed by local law enforcement, and animal experts from the Columbus Zoo are assisting with tranquilizers as authorities attempt to round up all the animals. It is not yet known how many exotic animals remain on the loose.