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Heather Jauquet

PG County’s rogue zebras return to the herd

Two zebras walking away from the cameraGeran de Klerk/Unsplash

Prince George’s County made headlines more than three months ago when residents found zebras wandering in their backyards. Confusion prevailed as sighting upon sighting was reported. A least a trio of zebras had escaped a private exotic farm on the corner of Bellefield Road and Duley Station Road in Upper Marlboro.

One zebra was seen walking along Croom Road in front of a vehicle, while others were seen near a residential backyard walking along the train tracks. The zebras had been seen happily munching grass and eluding capture despite the best efforts of Prince George’s Animal Control to bring them back to the herd.

Eight-foot tall corrals were built, and snacks were set out all in the attempt to bring home the zebras. In the meantime, families dressed in zebra print pajamas and made searching parties in the hopes of getting a glimpse of the unusual sight of seeing zebras out in the wilds of Prince George’s County.

There was speculation and concern of whether or not the zebras would be able to withstand a Maryland winter. According to Hearts & Hands Animal Rescue, “It is important when it is cold and wet to have a shelter for them to go into to keep warm. If there is a lot of rain, you must have shelter for your zebra.” Zebras do get a winter coat, but it is not the same as horses'.

After months of zero success in capturing the zebras, two of the dazzle made it back home on their own. Unfortunately one of the original trio died from dehydration while struggling for several days in an illegal trap near the fence line of the private farm. It is unclear if someone set up the snare trap to hunt the zebras or if the zebra was an unintended victim.

The farm owner has been charged with three counts of animal cruelty. Court documents cite failing to provide proper shelter, necessary substance, and inflicting unnecessary pain. According to court documents, there is enough circumstantial evidence to warrant a criminal charge. Animal cruelty can carry a maximum penalty of 90 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000.

What do you think of the zebra saga? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

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Certified educator K-12 and Reading Specialist with a focus on the adolescent brain. I write about how educational decisions affect parents, students, and staff. As an educator and parent I also focus on community events for the whole family.


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