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Surviving Zanesville Exotic Animals Ordered Quarantined

The few animals to survive the Zanesville exotic animal farm fiasco last week won’t be heading back to the farm; at least not yet.  On Thursday state regulators issued a last-minute order after Marian Thompson, widow of the suicidal owner, announced that she would reclaim the surviving animals from the Columbus Zoo.   The order, which calls for the animals to be quarantined, was good news for neighbor Melody Greiner who lives a quarter-mile from the Thompson farm.  Greiner said she’s glad that the six animals won’t be returning to Zanesville.   “Due to the whole situation of what had happened, I think those animals should stay at the zoo with Jack Hanna and get the proper care, get thoroughly checked out and then check out the situation over here,â€? Greiner said. “I don’t feel they should come back here.  If what you hear, the rumors, that they weren’t under really good conditions here, they should be where they’re at right now at the zoo.â€?   The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium says it was notified that Marian Thompson was going to pick up the animals: three leopards, two monkeys and a young grizzly that had been cared for by the zoo since last week.   But before Thompson could reclaim the six, state officials issued the quarantine order.  Erica Pitchford is an Agriculture Department spokeswoman.   “Due to the conditions that the animals were kept in – we’ve been out there and we’ve seen the property – we do have reason to believe that there could be exposure to several different infectious diseases,â€? Pitchford said.   The order is in effect indefinitely and prohibits the Columbus Zoo from moving or releasing the animals to their owner until they are determined to no longer be a potential disease threat.  Dale Schmidt is the zoo’s director.   “In the foremost of our heart is the welfare of these animals and we want to make certain that they go to facilities that are up to standards so that they have the best possible care such as we’re giving them here,â€? Schmidt said.