Monday, November 29

Escaped Zebras Fool Maryland Officials: “They’re Too Fast” | Maryland


A team of animal control officers in Maryland’s second-most populous county, most comfortable rounding up stray dogs and rescuing kittens from trees, is struggling with an unprecedented challenge: how to catch a daze of free-roaming zebras.

Five of the animals escaped from a private farm in Prince George’s County more than a week ago and have been roaming the neighborhoods south of Upper Marlboro in search of food.

While the wandering beasts have entertained the residents and sparked an impromptu metropolitan safari from social media photos and videos, their presence has caused a headache for county officials.

“You cannot hunt them. They’re too fast, they run, they won’t let you get close. ”Rodney Taylor, head of the Prince George’s County Animal Services Department, told ABC affiliate WJLA news.

“We have a feeding station installed and we are gaining their trust. They are eating there every morning between 2 a.m. M. And 4 a.m. M. “.

Taylor told the station that authorities planned to lock up the zebras by erecting panels around the feeding station, where they can be reassured and returned to the farm. But, he said, cornering the unpredictable creatures was a delicate operation.

“If you scare them, you are simply pushing them further. And that’s when it can get dangerous, they can hit the road. Things can happen, “he added.

The zebras, part of a larger herd of 39 that reportedly arrived from Florida at the private farm in Upper Marlboro last month, were released from their enclosure just over a week ago.

The farm owner, identified by Taylor as Jerry Holly, has not responded to media requests for comment, but is licensed to keep exotic animals, according to US Department of Agriculture records.

According to WJLA, the farm also had spider monkeys, dromedaries, baboons, red kangaroos, brown lemurs, capybaras, and gibbons in 2018.

Residents who have seen the zebras have been reporting their location to animal services, Taylor said.

Alexa Curling, who lives in the Marlton neighborhood, recorded a video clip of the animals roaming near her home. Her 10-year-old sister Layla told WJLA she saw them from an upstairs window and called her mother, who did not believe her.

“I thought it was a deer for about three seconds, and then I realized that it was actually a zebra. He said he was crazy and stuff. She believed me after we looked out the bathroom window, ”he said.

Taylor said of the creatures: “They won’t attack you [but] please don’t try to corner them or try to catch them. They are not used to being manipulated by humans, so they will kick. Zebras bite. “




www.theguardian.com

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