ZANESVILLE, Ohio -

Update: An Ohio sheriff says the last of dozens of exotic animals set free by its owner may have been eaten by one of the others.

The sheriff's office in eastern Ohio's Muskingum County told The Associated Press on Thursday that the search for a missing monkey was still active.

But Sheriff Matt Lutz (loots) tells WCMH-TV the monkey may have met the same fate as another, which was eaten by a big cat.

Authorities say animal owner Terry Thompson killed himself Tuesday evening after opening the cages at his farm near Zanesville.

Lions, tigers, bears and other animals began scattering and police hunted them down.

Eventually about 48 were killed.

Animal rights advocates say there was little police could do to save them.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Law enforcement officials said Wednesday afternoon that they had accounted for all but one of a menagerie of animals released from a Ohio farm, with a monkey remaining on the loose.

Muskingum County Sheriff Matt Lutz said a missing bear and mountain lion were shot dead and a lion made it to a private backyard, where it died. They were among an estimated 51 exotic animals released Tuesday from Terry Thompson's farm outside Zanesville. And the Sheriff's Department said Wednesday afternoon that a wolf, previously unaccounted for, had been killed Tuesday night.

Lutz said preliminary investigations indicated that the 62-year-old Thompson pried open cages and left the farm's fences open and then died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Authorities were waiting on the results of an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death.

Flashing signs on the highways in eastern Ohio warned motorists Wednesday: "Caution. Exotic animals." Schools were closed, and some frightened residents said they were keeping to their homes as sheriff's deputies hunted lions, tigers, leopards and grizzly bears.

Sheriff's deputies used night vision equipment until daylight Wednesday to continue their search, which was hampered by rain. Lutz said deputies, armed with shotguns, patrolled in pickups. This part of Ohio is wooded and hilly, making it conducive for the animals to hide.

Most of the escaped animals were put down. Lutz called them "senseless killings" of animals that were not in a proper environment.

He said his deputies, who found themselves in a volatile situation, had to shoot some of the animals at close range. A Bengal tiger was killed after it got agitated from a tranquilizer shot.

"We are not talking about your normal everyday house cat or dog," Lutz said. "These are 300-pound Bengal tigers that we have had to put down.

"When we got here, obviously, public safety was my number one concern. We could not have animals running loose in this county."

Zanesville Mayor Howard Zwelling said he received calls from people who were concerned that the animals had been killed. He said authorities were trying to use tranquilizers whenever possible.

Sam Kopchak, Thompson's neighbor, said he saw lions and bears running free Tuesday evening. A tiger was chasing horses, he said.

Kopchak managed to get himself and his horse into his barn and telephoned his mother.

"We have a major problem,:" he told her. That's when she called the police.

"It was like a war zone," Kopchak said when authorities descended on Thompson's property, set off the road named after Kopchak's family.

Kopchak described Thompson as being aloof. He loved animals. Kopchak saw him driving one time with a baby black bear on his chest.

Lutz said authorities found primates inside the house.

The community was in a state of "shock and surprise," said Tom Warne, owner of Donald's Donuts and a lifelong resident of the city of Zanesville.

"It's the craziest sort of thing," he said.