Sheriff's deputies shot nearly 50 wild animals - including 18 rare Bengal tigers and 17 lions - in a big-game hunt across the state's countryside on Wednesday after the owner of an exotic-animal park threw their cages open and committed suicide in what may have been one last act of spite against his neighbours and police. As homeowners nervously hid indoors, officers armed with high-powered rifles and shoot-to-kill orders fanned out through fields and woods to hunt down 56 animals that had been turned loose from the Muskingum County Animal Farm by owner Terry Thompson before he shot himself to death on Tuesday. After an all-night hunt that extended into afternoon, 48 animals were killed. Six others - three leopards, a grizzly bear and two monkeys - were captured and taken to the Columbus Zoo. A wolf was later found dead. MO