Zanesville animal escape: Which one is most terrifying? (UPDATED)

An Ohio State Highway Patrol officer drives past a sign warning of the exotic animals on the loose from a wildlife preserve October 19, 2011 in Zanesville, Ohio. Muskingum County Animal Farm owner Terry Thompson was found dead Tuesday evening after deputies received calls reporting wild animals on the loose west of Zanesville.

Like a scene out of the book Jumanji, dozens of exotic animals escaped from a private game preserve in Zanesville Ohio earlier this morning, sparking nightmares in all right-thinking people in rural Ohio that they would soon be eaten by a zoo animal.

Upon investigating Muskingum County Animal Farm early this morning, police found owner Terry Thompson dead apparently by his own hand and 48 animals — including cheetahs, lions, tigers and grizzly bears — escaped. This is, frankly, terrifying — but however, not to worry! By Wednesday afternoon police reported that they had captured or killed the vast majority of the menagerie, with only a mountain lion, a monkey and a bear still roaming around.

This leads us, of course, to speculate: Which of the three is the scariest? Let’s run down:

Mountain lion — Very fast. Good at sneaking. Many sharp points in mouth and on paws. Probably good at climbing. Most likely to suddenly appear in places where a human would believe they were most safe, such as an attic, or a child’s second-floor bedroom. On the minus side, it might just actually be a bully; experts advise surviving an encounter by simply standing up straighter, looking the cougar in the eye and saying “Stop it, I don’t like it!” (Not the last one.)

Grizzly bear — Not as fast as the mountain lion, but still fast enough to catch and eat you. Also copious amounts of sharp points in the mouth and on the paw. May not be able to sneak up, but has enough super strength to rip down the front door of a shoddily constructed house and kill the frightened humans huddled inside. Does not take kindly to humans who try to befriend it.

Monkey – At first glance the least dangerous of the three loose animals. Depending on the species, may lack top physical strength. More of a bruiser than a stabber. Could possess friendly demeanor. However, could also band together with bear in a parasitic and possibly allegorical relationship in a sprawling Joanna Newsom song:

UPDATE: All of the animals have been caught or captured except for the monkey. We told you the primate was truly the most dangerous game, but we didn’t know how right we were: The beast is reportedly carrying herpes. How did it get the virus? Well, that’s a whole different song.



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