Ohio prepares for unknown with exotic pet rules

Associated Press

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Ohio officials are preparing to impose new rules on owners of exotic animals without knowing exactly how many lions, leopards, bears and other creatures live in the state.

That's because until Ohio's governor signs the new regulations - expected soon - the state has among the nation's weakest restrictions on exotic pets.

The state Legislature cleared a bill last week to immediately ban people from buying new dangerous animals. Once in effect, owners would have 60 days to register their creatures with the state.

The state's veterinarian says Ohio is dealing with the unknown, and it'll take time to find out how many animals are out there.

Efforts to regulate dangerous wildlife took on new urgency in October, when a suicidal owner released dozens of exotic animals.

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