Zoos support Ohio exotics bill, have questions

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Officials from Ohio zoos and humane societies have told a state Senate panel they support a bill that would ban new ownership of exotic animals but question some of its provisions.

Media outlets report that a main point of contention at the Wednesday hearing was an exemption for members of a zoological association that one official described as an advocacy group for private animal owners. Some officials also questioned less restrictive regulations for snakes and an exception made for a Massillon high school's tiger cub mascot.

The bill came in response to the October release outside Zanesville of dozens of pets by their owner, who then killed himself. Most of the animals, including bears, lions and endangered Bengal tigers, were killed by law enforcement seeking to protect the public.