Zebra Saga: Maryland officials hatch capture plan involving … even more zebras
Two more zebras were recruited to solve the problem of fleeing zebras in Maryland.
Three zebras stunned locals and online video viewers after escaping from an Upper Marlboro farm in August and being seen wandering around suburban Maryland.
One of the animals was found dead on September 16 in an illegal snare trap, officials said. The other two are still at large.
After multiple unsuccessful efforts to capture the escapees, the owner and authorities hatched a plan to bring them in.
The idea is to use food and other zebras to lure the roaming zebras into a corral, in order to bring them back to the herd, according to a press release issued on Friday by the county’s environment department. Prince George (DoE).
Department of Agriculture vets and DoE Animal Services staff agreed it would be the best approach with the least risk to escaped animals.
“Our priority is to make sure the zebras are captured and returned to the herd,” said Andrea L. Crooms, Director of DoE. “Once this is done, the county will investigate further and any action, including any appropriate charges against the owner, will be assessed. “
The owner of the animals, USDA licensed breeder Jerry Holly, worked with the agencies involved, authorities said.
Holly has managed to keep a low profile, even though the story has grabbed national headlines for the past two months. However, the attention of the slain zebra brought attention to his business.
“The sad plight of this zebra underscores the seriousness of this problem – both from the cruelty of the possession and operations of exotic animals in captivity to the dangerous and barbaric use of the traps,” said the Humane Society of the United States in a statement to WDVM.
His business of breeding exotic animals in Maryland and Florida owned large cats, primates, giraffes, bears and other animals, DCist reported, citing public documents. He was reportedly cited by the USDA for more than 100 animal welfare law violations, including inadequate shelter, unclean and dangerous enclosures, and failure to keep proper sales records.