Five zebras escaped from the farm of an exotic animal trader in Prince George’s County, Maryland a month ago and they are still on the loose. The escapees were part of a larger herd of zebras, also called a dazzle or a zeal, from a private farm. Now they are roaming the grasslands of Maryland and causing a lot of people to do a double take. I can remember driving by a farm in Vermont that had a zebra in it’s field and it made me stop and stare. I can’t imagine seeing five of them.
After the zebras got loose, the farm had planned to capture them by luring them into a corral baited with grain. The corral was to be rigged with a gate that would swing shut, trapping the escapees. But the zebras have proved to be a wily bunch, foiling the effort week after week.
The problem is that zebras are not terribly domesticated, even ones that have been bred in captivity.
According to an expert from the Maryland Zoo, catching the zebras is a little more challenging because while they look like most horses, they’re wild animals.
“They’re a lot stronger than most horses. They’re a lot more flighty because they’re, you know, it’s a wild animal, it has a stronger fight or flight response. And man, they’re just super powerful and super-fast and they’re suspicious of everything so it takes our staff a long time to train them for things like … procedures, hoof-trims, blood draws, things like that,” said Mike McClure, the zoo’s general curator, who’s responsible for operating the animal department.
So far, the zebras has stayed safe, despite being seen on roads at night.