This just in: zebras are fast. If you don’t believe it, head to Maryland and catch the blur of stripes racing through the Upper Marlboro neighborhoods. While Marylanders are no stranger to racehorses, this is a different breed – literally. A herd of six zebras has alluded wildlife officials for over a week, and it doesn’t seem like they’re going to slow down anytime soon.
Three days ago, a Maryland family caught sight of the zebra herd wandering through the backyard. For them, it might as well have been a unicorn at the base of a rainbow. No doubt they had to pop their eyes back into their head after realizing their grazing visitors belonged in the savannah rather than the suburbs.
According to New York Post, the exotic animals originated from a farm in Florida. Shortly after they relocated with their new owners to the Old Line State, they broke free from the property and have been on the lam ever since. Although, they aren’t all that stealthy about their hiding places. In fact, Rodney Taylor, chief of Prince George county’s animal services department, admitted that the animals are too fast and too skittish to chase.
“You can’t hunt them down. They’re just too fast, they run, they won’t let you get near them,” Taylor told WJLA News.
However, there is hope still. According to the animal services chief, officials are “winning their confidence” with a feeding station.
“They are eating there every morning between 2am and 4am,” Taylor shared.
As the zebras continue with their recent schedule, wildlife officials are hoping for a better chance to capture and bring them to safety.
Animal Services Official Explains Difficulty of Catching Zebras
The new plan for wildlife officials is to lure the zebras to their new favorite feeding spot and tranquilize them. However, this is easily said than done.
“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. Things can happen,” Taylor explained.
Just like wild horses – or any wild animal for that matter – zebras are not safe to approach. Chances are slim that you’ll be able to get close enough to them, as they can run up to 35 mph and have sensitive hearing. But if you do manage to sneak up on one, you could get seriously injured.
“They won’t attack you [but] please do not try to corner them or try to catch them,” Taylor warned. “They’re not used to being handled by humans, so they will kick. Zebras do bite.”
If spotted, the best course of action is to call local wildlife authorities. And maybe send a few photos to your friends at Outsider.