It is one of the most appalling photos in recent time. Several exotic animals that escaped a farm outside Zanesville, Ohio were shot after local authorities cited that the animals posed an immediate danger to the community. The animals were released from a farm by their suicidial owner, and of the 56 animals released Tuesday night, only a grizzly bear, two monkeys and three leopards were taken alive.As of Wednesday afternoon, authorities had killed 49 animals -- 18 tigers, 17 lions, six black bears, two grizzly bears, three mountain lions, two wolves and a baboon. Those captured alive were taken to the Columbus Zoo. Conservationist Jack Hanna, who assisted in the rescue effort, said he supported the actions of taking down the exotic animals because of the threat they posed to innocent civilians. He would go onto to say that it was a miracle no one was injured or killed by the amount of wild animals on the loose.

Hanna led a team of experts who arrived with four tranquilizer guns late Tuesday in an effort to corral the animals. He said the drugs take several minutes to subdue an animal even with a good shot, and one tiger had to be killed Wednesday afternoon when it turned on a veterinarian after being hit with a tranquilizer dart.

Several citizens in the Zanesville, Ohio area refused to leave their homes an authorities hunted bear, lions, tigers, and leopards. Several schools and businesses were closed Wednesday as they noted the treat was too high to put people and kids in danger.

Zanesville Mayor Howard Zwelling said he received calls from people who were concerned that the animals had been killed. He said authorities were trying to use tranquilizers whenever possible. But Lutz told reporters, "We are not talking about your normal everyday house cat or dog.

As expected, several people and organizations have come forth opposing the killings of these exotic animals. Like so many, I too have to ask, was lethal force the ONLY solution here? We have seen several stories prior to this one where the same type animals were tranquilized and return to the appropriate location or habitat. This is truly a sad ending to some of the world's most beautiful animals.

For much more on this story, visit CNN

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