WASHINGTON (AFP) - Dozens of animals, including lions, tigers, bears and wolves, were on the loose in the US state of Ohio Wednesday after apparently being released from an exotic farm, local media reported. Police and wildlife officials scrambled to hunt down the animals, shooting 25 of them, ordering local residents to stay indoors and cordoning off the area around the farm, where the owner was found dead near several open cages. Our first responsibility is to protect the public, Muskingum County Sheriff Matt Lutz was quoted as saying by the Columbus Dispatch newspaper, adding that area schools had canceled classes on Wednesday.