First, there were bears breaking into California homes and taking over Minnesota towns. Then, there were giraffes soaking up the sun on Santa Monica’s sandy beaches. What’s next– zebras running around the capital city? Actually, yes. Recently captured video shows a group of zebras galivanting through a Washington D.C. neighborhood leaving residents and the rest of the country totally confused. So, what’s the scoop?
The City of Stars and Zebras’ Stripes?
When a Maryland family went to look out their backyard window the other day, they were probably expecting a couple of squirrels, maybe some orioles (the state bird). Instead, what they saw required a double-take. The initial witness, a daughter, remembers running to tell her mother the news and not being able to convince her the story was true. After the mother confirmed that there was indeed a dazzle of zebras (can you believe that’s what a group of zebras is actually called– a dazzle?), the two elected to call the non-emergency 311 line. They detailed their experience to Washington reporters:
“I called 311 and she thought I was crazy. She thought I was crazy. She paused for a long minute. I said, ‘Ma’am, I am not drinking. I’ve not had any drugs. I have zebras in my backyard walking on the train tracks. I just wanted to know what service could come out because I didn’t want them to get hit.’ And she paused for a long time and then said, ‘OK, here’s the number.'”
After calling the proper authorities, a helicopter made its way over to investigate the peculiar situation. While the family initially only saw three zebras, the chopper spotted a total of six. Appearing quite docile, the zebras gathered in a nearby field to enjoy some green grub.
Later, it came out that the zebras escaped from a nearby farm. Animal Control Officers then hatched a plan to safely and gently bait the herd with food in order to corral them and return them home. Although the video doesn’t actually show their rescue, we can assume the creatures will soon be back where they belong and living their best lives.
The TODAY Show shared the footage in a tweet, which you can view below:
Another D.C. Escape Artist
While zebras are generally quite docile and probably wouldn’t harm any local folk without being provoked, the same cannot be said for bobcats. A local bobcat from the National Zoo nicknamed “Ollie” actually caused quite the scare back in 2017 when she escaped. The 25lb female actually evaded capture for almost 3 whole days before returning to zoo grounds on her own volition. The Washington Post reported that she turned up with a cut paw, but no life-threatening injuries. The Director of Big Cats from the National Zoo, Craig Saffoe commented on the situation:
“I think she wanted to go out, have a little bit of fun, see what it was like on the outside, [then] ‘I think I’m ready to come back inside now.”
We’re glad the zebras and bobcat are safe now, but it also begs the question: whatever will we see next?