5 escaped zebras turn heads in a Maryland town

·3 min read
Group of zebras in Tarangire National Park / Tanzania.
Group of zebras in Tarangire National Park / Tanzania. Getty Images/Stock photo
  • Five zebras escaped from a private farm in a Maryland town 20 miles from the US Capitol.

  • Officials told WJLA they have a plan to slowly catch the animals and take them back to the farm.

  • Authorities said the zebras are not dangerous but can be easily spooked.

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Five zebras have been wandering around a Maryland town for possibly more than 10 days now, several outlets reported.

The zebras, which escaped from a private 300-acre farm, have been frolicking through the roads of Prince George's County, Maryland, NBC News reported.

Three of the zebras were first reported to officials on August 31st.

"Zebras running loose in Prince George's County is something we've never seen, that's for sure," Rodney Taylor, chief of Prince George's County Animal Services Division, told NBC News. "There's a buzz. A lot of people are talking about it."

Paul Curling told The New York Times that his 10-year-old daughter, Layla, spotted them on the railroad tracks behind their home.

"Mommy, I know you're not going to believe this, but trust me when I tell you: I just saw some zebras behind the house," Layla told her mom last week, Curling said.

Curling said no one believed her until they saw a zebra from a bedroom window and couldn't believe their eyes.

"We've all been pretty much looking and glancing around ever since to see if they possibly make a reappearance," Curling told NBC News.

The farm from which the zebras escaped is located in Upper Marlboro, about 20 miles from the Capitol. It's owned by Jerry Holly, who is legally licensed by the Department of Agriculture to have 39 zebras.

The zebras were brought to the farm about two weeks ago from Florida, the Times reported. It's not clear why Holly has the zebras, according to the Times.

Taylor told WJLA that the zebras are not dangerous.

"They won't attack you," he said. "Please do not try to corner them or try to catch them. They're not used to being handled by humans, so they will kick - zebras do bite - so please if you happen to see them, just give us a call and let us know, but please stay away."

Taylor told WJLA feeding stations have been set up to win "their confidence" and the zebras have been eating there every morning. He said they'll slowly add corral panels to create a confined area for the zebras, tranquilize them, and then take them back to the farm.

To prevent people from trying to find and potentially frighten the zebras, Taylor won't reveal the location of the feeding stations.

"If you spook them, you're just pushing them further out. And that's when it can get dangerous, they can get out on the highway, [and other] things can happen," Taylor said.

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