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May 11, 3:01 PM EDT

Ohio fights order to return tigers, baboons to farm owner


COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Ohio is fighting a court order to return five tigers, two pumas, two baboons and one chimpanzee to a Massillon (MAS'-ih-luhn) farm.

The state asked the Ohio Supreme Court in a motion Wednesday to stop action in the case after 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 Ohio's Department of Agriculture has oversight of dangerous wild animals, and argues the county judge didn't have jurisdiction to make such an order.

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

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