A 400-pound lioness was found "lounging" on a Fairfield Beach lawn in Fairfield County, Ohio this past Sunday, according to NBC. The Fairfield County Sheriff's Office said someone broke into a cage, where 2-year old Nadia, had been safely housed by owner, John Moore, 50. Moore said someone cut the chains and lock from her cage, luring Nadia out with turkey giblets. Digtriad reports Moore was a caretaker for Terry Thompson, who released more than 50 exotic animals from their cages at his Zanesville, Ohio farm before committing suicide in October 2011.
Newsnet5 said the Ohio Department of Agriculture is working with sheriff officials to find out who let Nadia loose. Agriculture spokeswoman Erica Hawkins, told Columbus Dispatch Nadia was kept at 13748 Queen Road NE, in Thornville, Ohio. Her office is responsible for enforcing the provisions of the Ohio Dangerous Wild Animal Act that Gov. John Kasich signed into law last year. A response team was at Moore's house Tuesday morning to inspect the cage, making sure Nadia was being kept as required by law, finding that Moore was, and is in compliance.
Lions are a "pride" animal and we are her "pride", so she's not going to wander off too far from us.
Fairfield County Sheriff Lt. Tim Voris, representative for the sheriff's exotic animal committee, told Digtriad that Moore originally owned two lions, but one died last winter because of complications from an illness. Taking as many precautions as possible, Voris said Moore has been cooperative, setting up an emergency response plan in case of another situation as the one that occurred Sunday.
No one was hurt in this incident. The Record-Courier reminds us that intentionally releasing a dangerous wild animal is a fifth degree felony under Ohio's exotic animal law, punishable by up to one year in prison. The investigation is on-going, and anyone with information on "how" Nadia got out should call law enforcement officials.
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