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Vehicles, Horses Auctioned Off at Site of Zanesville Animal Release

ZANESVILLE (Ken Hines) -- Thousands of bidders took part in an auction Wednesday at an infamous Ohio farm where dozens of exotic animals were released in 2011.

Marian Thompson hired an auctioneer to sell vehicles -- including some from the 1930s and 1940s -- as well as several animals during an hours-long auction on her Zanesville property.

Thompson's husband, Terry, released 56 exotic animals from the farm on October 18, 2011, before fatally shooting himself in the head. Local authorities killed 48 of those animals -- including tigers, bears, and lions -- in order to protect the area's residents.

Buyers bid on motorcycles and auto parts on Wednesday morning, some of which were left over from a Harley Davidson store previously owned by Terry Thompson.

Among the buyers who made the trip to the Zanesville farm was Stephen Bebee, who bought a sign from the Harley Davidson store, and who described Terry Thompson as a friend and a good person whose memory was unfairly tarnished by the animal release.

"Terry Thompson a good guy in Zanesville," Bebee said. "Everybody knew that man from around here. I don't care what anybody says about him, he was a good man"

Marian Thompson eventually regained possession of her husband's surviving exotic animals, but did not sell them in the auction. Thirty-six non-exotic animals, including newborn and miniature horses, were made available for purchase.

Potential buyers paid admission fees of $25 to participate in the auction, which began at 6:30 a.m.
 
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