We noted yesterday that 48 exotic animals had escaped from an Ohio farm, and that authorities were handling the problem by shooting them. That's enough of a downer, but the more details we hear the worse it gets.

There ended up being more than 50 animals running amok, and 49 of them were killed, including 18 endangered Bengal tigers and 17 lions. Local police say they did try to sedate the animals instead of killing them, but they didn't really have tranquilizers suited to 300-pound wildcats. And, as if that's not enough, the reason they were loose in the first place is that owner Terry Thompson released them before committing suicide. Maybe because he heard a story about 18 Bengal tigers getting shot to death.

Oh, PLUS it looks like the animals had really unhappy lives — Thompson was charged with animal cruelty 11 times since 2004. Apparently he met bare minimum requirements for some of the animals, and less than minimum for others; he was said to deliberately undernourish horses so he could feed their corpses to the lions. Uggggghhhh.

Wringing a little bit of positivity from this story: Three leopards, a grizzly bear, and two monkeys survived, and they're being taken to the zoo where they'll be loved and cared for. Also, another monkey who might have Herpes B was still unaccounted for, and he will clearly either spend his life training for revenge OR mutate the virus into some kind of zombie disease. Either way, the movie will be really fun. A lot more fun than reading these news reports.

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.