Ohio sheriff doesn't want surviving exotics back

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COLUMBUS - An eastern Ohio sheriff doesn't want exotic animals coming back to the same farm where they were set free by their suicidal owner last October.

But Muskingum County Sheriff Matt Lutz says there's not a lot officials can do to keep that from happening.

The widow of a Zanesville man who freed the dozens of animals before killing himself wants to take back the few surviving animals, including a leopard and a brown bear.

She says there are adequate cages to keep them at the Zanesville farm.

The state's agriculture department is expected to hold a hearing Monday on her request.

The Muskingum County prosecutor tells The Columbus Dispatch that they're limited in what they can do unless the animals are abused or if there's a clear public nuisance.

Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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