Linda Pennoyer, the politician of the municipality of Upper Marlboro, Md., said the zebras had go section “celebrities,” their each determination documented connected societal media.
Published Sept. 30, 2021Updated Oct. 1, 2021, 9:18 a.m. ET
They’re inactive retired there, roaming free.
A period aft they escaped from a workplace successful Maryland, 5 zebras person evaded seizure and are continuing to ramble crossed the wilds of suburban Prince George’s County, eking retired a surviving connected territory acold from the grasslands of East Africa.
There has been nary shortage of sightings.
Joshua DuBois, who led the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships nether President Barack Obama, said connected Twitter that aft his lad claimed to person seen the zebras, helium did a U-turn, pulled into “some guy’s driveway” and spotted them successful Upper Marlboro, Md., astir 20 miles southeast of Washington.
“BAM. WILD MARYLAND ZEBRAS,” Mr. DuBois wrote connected Twitter, adjacent to a video that helium posted showing a zebra trotting on a histrion line.
Linda Pennoyer, the politician of the municipality of Upper Marlboro, said the zebras had go section “celebrities,” their each determination documented connected societal media.
“It is unusual to spot zebras crossing the road,” Ms. Pennoyer said, adding, “There are worse things that could beryllium moving astir Upper Marlboro — similar alligators.”
The zebras person been connected the tally since Aug. 31, erstwhile they someway escaped from a privately owned workplace successful Upper Marlboro, according to Rodney Taylor, main of the Prince George’s County Animal Services Division.
They were portion of a zeal — arsenic a clump of zebras is sometimes called — of 39 zebras that had been brought to the workplace from Florida successful mid-August. Mr. Taylor said helium was not definite wherefore the workplace owner, whom helium identified arsenic Jerry Holly, had been keeping zebras but said they were not portion of a zoo oregon different exposition.
He said that Mr. Holly had a licence from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to support zebras. Department records bespeak that the workplace has had a assortment of chaotic animals arsenic precocious arsenic 2018, including black-handed spider monkeys, dromedaries, mandrills, reddish kangaroos, brownish lemurs, capybaras and gibbons.
After the zebras got loose, the workplace had planned to seizure them by luring them into a corral baited with grain. The corral was to beryllium rigged with a gross that would plaything shut, trapping the escapees.
But the zebras person proved to beryllium a wily bunch, foiling the effort week aft week.
“I tin accidental we haven’t caught them yet,” Mr. Taylor said connected Thursday, declining to connection much details. “They’re inactive loose. They inactive person the feeding presumption retired to drawback them.”
There was nary reply astatine a telephone fig listed for Mr. Holly.
Daniel I. Rubenstein, a prof of zoology astatine Princeton University, said helium was not amazed that the zebras had proved truthful elusive.
Unlike domesticated horses that volition instrumentality to a barn aft they’ve gotten loose, zebras are chaotic animals and “don’t similar radical generally,” helium said. And they whitethorn not person immoderate request to provender connected the atom acceptable retired for them arsenic bait, if they tin find capable nutrient to munch elsewhere.
If the zebras proceed to elude capture, “they should beryllium capable to bash conscionable fine” successful Prince George’s County, Dr. Rubinstein said.
The region has plentifulness of lawns, fields and pastures wherever the zebras tin graze, arsenic good arsenic streams and different places for them to portion water, which they request to bash erstwhile a day, helium said.
And with the dearth of lions successful the Greater Washington area, they person nary earthy predators, helium said, adding, “coyotes they tin woody with.”
While zebras “won’t similar snow,” they whitethorn beryllium capable to past colder upwind successful the autumn and winter. Zebras, helium said, unrecorded connected the slopes of Mount Kenya, astatine 13,000 feet, wherever temperatures astatine nighttime dip into the 30s.
“They should beryllium capable to thrive rather nicely,” Dr. Rubinstein said. “They volition beryllium capable to prolong themselves people connected that landscape.”
He suggested that the workplace way the zebras with infrared cameras oregon drones and past tranquilize them oregon thrust them into a corral.
But the zebras whitethorn not enactment successful the country for long, Dr. Rubinstein warned.
If the zebras that escaped are not portion of a household group, they whitethorn abstracted and rotation arsenic loners, making them adjacent much hard to capture. “If they’re starting to spell their ain idiosyncratic way,” helium said, “who knows?”