Neighbor of Thompson Recounts October Evening

by WHIZ Reporter on April 30, 2012 at 8:59 am

The are strong reactions to the decision handed down by the Ohio Division of Agriculture.

Sam Kopchak vividly remembers the night of October 18th, 2011.

He was bringing in his new horse, Red, into his barn when he noticed the horse was spooked by a loose bear on the Thompson farm.

"The bear was running around the horses, and the bear took off toward the north," said Kopchak.

After corralling the horse, Kopchak continued toward the barn.

"I started leading him back, and 30 feet from me was a male, African lion, just on the other side of a seven-strand horse fence, and I had to go about 150 yards to get to my barn," he explained.

"I didn’t look him in the eye, I did not run or try to run, I just moved as quickly as possible, got him in the barn, and made a call to my mother," He recounted.

After making it to safety of his barn, Kopchak locked the door, and called his mother, who called 9-1-1 and the Thompsons to alert them of the loose animals.

"After I got into the barn, I saw a wolf, a female African lion, a bigger bear and a tiger and the tiger was nasty. He was chasing the horses all over the place," he said.

It was there that Kopchak realized just how many Exotic animals were on the Thompson farm.

"We didn’t know that they had all these animals," he remarked. "We could hear the lions and tigers, roaring in the morning, and in the evening, too."

Kopchak said he will be keeping an eye on his neighbors from now on, but he has no way of getting a hold of Marian Thompson directly if something happens again.

"I don’t even know where she even is. We’ve seen her probably pull in a few times, I actually went to try to contact her myself about another matter, but I have no way of contacting her," he said.

Kopchak believes Marian deserves to have her animals returned, but like the rest of his neighbors, he doesn’t want to experience that October evening again.

"It was a catastrophe as it is, a very sad situation, that occurred, but it could have been much worse."