Terry Thompson, the Ohio man who authorities say set his exotic animals free just before killing himself, once supplied a lion cub for a photo shoot with supermodel Heidi Klum.
“I wrote a letter to Heidi Klum’s people,” said Larry Hostetler, the executive director of the Animal Shelter Society of Muskingum County. “I strongly voiced my opinion that if they’re going to hire animals for entertainment, they might want to check handlers’ backgrounds — that Terry Thompson had been convicted of animal cruelty.
“Of course, I never heard anything back.”
Thompson and his wild animal farm had long been on authorities’ radar. Thompson had been kicked out of the local pet fair for bringing exotic animals that snarled at children. He had been convicted in November 2005 of animal cruelty, allowing an animal to roam freely and rendering animal waste without a license.