Ohio fights order to return tigers, baboons to farm owner

COLUMBUS (AP) — Ohio is fighting a court order to return five tigers, two pumas, two baboons and one chimpanzee to a farm in Massillon.

The state asked the Ohio Supreme Court in a motion Wednesday to stop action in the case in which a Stark County judge ordered the animals returned to Stump Hill Farm, in northeast Ohio, by May 19.

The state says the owner didn’t meet tightened restrictions on such animals, and argues that returning them poses a risk to public safety and the animals’ health. It says the Ohio agriculture department has oversight of dangerous wild animals, and says the county court doesn’t have jurisdiction in the matter.

The owner’s attorney says the animals weren’t endangering anyone, the seizure was premature, and a related appeal is pending.