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ZANESVILLE, Ohio • Dozens of animals escaped Tuesday from a wild-animal preserve that houses bears, big cats and other beasts, and the owner later was found dead there, said police, who shot several of the animals and urged nearby residents to stay indoors.

The fences had been left unsecured at the Muskingum County Animal Farm in Zanesville, and the animals' cages were open, police said. They said bears and wolves were among 25 animals that had been shot and killed.

Police were patrolling the 40-acre farm and surrounding areas in cars, not on foot, and were concerned about big cats and bears hiding in the dark and in trees.

Police found owner Terry Thompson dead and all the animal cage doors open. They wouldn't say how he died.