Ohio euthanizes leopard kept after exotics escape

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Officials have euthanized a leopard that was among six creatures kept at an Ohio zoo since their suicidal owner released dozens of exotic animals that were subsequently killed by authorities.

The Columbus Zoo and the Ohio Department of Agriculture say a keeper was moving the male spotted leopard between enclosures Sunday when the animal unexpectedly reversed course as a door was being lowered. It was struck on the neck. A zoo veterinarian determined the unresponsive cat suffered a spinal cord injury. The state veterinarian decided to euthanize it.

It had been held under a state-issued quarantine order with two other leopards, two primates and a bear that survived the October hunt near Zanesville.

An attorney for the owner's widow says he's withholding comment until he learns more about what happened.

Copyright Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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