Sheriff's deputies killed 48 of the other animals, including lions, tigers, bears and wolves. Two monkeys were likely killed and eaten by the big cats.
The zoo said the animals could be transferred to Marian Thompson "as early as today."
"We had hoped Ms. Thompson would leave the animals at the Zoo in the care of our team of professionals," Columbus Zoo and Aquarium CEO and President Dale Schmidt said in the statement. "We are trying to get authorization from government authorities and agencies to ensure they stay at the Zoo. Unfortunately, the current laws do not protect the animals and at this time we have no legal right to stop them from being taken from the Zoo."
The Dispatch reports that "one of Mrs. Thompson's attorney, Bob McClelland, said neither the law firm nor his client would comment further." It isn't known where Marian Thompson plans to take the animals. The local Zanesville Times Recorder says that Muskingum County Sheriff Matt Lutz "has heard talk that Marian might take the animals to a nature preserve in Northern Ohio, possibly near her Mansfield home, but he doesn't know if that will happen or not." The Thompsons were separated.
Update at 2:15 p.m. ET: The Times Recorder is live-blogging here and says Marian Thompson should be arriving at the zoo soon to get the animals.