In the Fulton County Commissioner’s session on Tuesday, the names of 11 people who have agreed to become members of the state mandated Dangerous Wild Animal Response Team were presented for approval. The commissioners reviewed the state requirements and voted unanimously to approve the slate of team members as presented. Fulton County is the first county in the state to have an approved team in place.
The formation of this group is in response to a law, which was passed a year ago, due to a 2011 incident in Zanesville, where 56 lions, tigers, bears, and monkeys were intentionally released into the public. This law, requires each county to form a Dangerous Wild Animal Response Team before July, 2013.
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Commissioner Barnaby stated, “This team is going to be utilized to create a plan for response if a release were to occur here. The state will give the counties a template for guidance, but the plan will be tailored to the needs and available resources in Fulton County.”
According to the Ohio Department of Agriculture, dangerous wild animals include, but are not limited to; large cats, bears, elephants, alligators, crocodiles, certain monkeys and certain constricting snakes longer than 12 feet. A list of all animals categorized as Dangerous Wild Animals can be found on the Ohio Department of Agriculture website.