They are still there, free.
A month after escaping from a farm in Maryland, five zebras have escaped capture and continue to roam the Prince George County suburbs, earning their living in territory far from the African prairies of Africa. East.
The observations were not lacking.
Joshua DuBois, who headed the White House Office of Faith and Neighborhood Partnerships under President Barack Obama, said on twitter that after his son claimed to have seen the zebras, he turned around, parked in “a guy’s driveway” and spotted them in Upper Marlboro, MD, about 20 miles away southeast of Washington.
“BAM. WILD MARYLAND ZEBRAS, ”DuBois wrote on Twitter, alongside a video he posted of a zebra trotting along a treeline.
Linda Pennoyer, mayor of the town of Upper Marlboro, said the zebras had become local “celebrities” with their every move documented on social media.
“It’s weird to see zebras crossing the road,” Ms. Pennoyer said, adding, “There are worse things that could be running around Upper Marlboro – like alligators.”
The zebras have been on the run since Aug.31, when they somehow escaped from a private farm in Upper Marlboro, according to Rodney Taylor, head of the Prince George County Animal Services Division.
They were part of a zealous – as a group of zebras is sometimes called – of 39 zebras that had been brought from Florida to the farm in mid-August. Mr Taylor said he was unsure why the owner of the farm, whom he identified as Jerry Holly, kept zebras, but said they were not part of a zoo or a other exhibition.
He said Mr. Holly had a license from the United States Department of Agriculture to keep zebras. Department records indicate the farm had a variety of wildlife until 2018, including black-handed spider monkeys, camels, mandrills, red kangaroos, brown lemurs, capybaras and gibbons.
After the zebras let loose, the farm planned to capture them by luring them into a corral baited with grain. The corral was to be equipped with a door that closed, trapping the escapees.
But the zebras turned out to be a crafty bunch, foiling the effort week after week.
“I can say we haven’t caught them yet,” Taylor said Thursday, declining to provide further details. “They are still at large. They still have the feeding station to catch them.
There was no response to a phone number listed for Mr. Holly.
Daniel I. Rubenstein, professor of zoology at Princeton University, said he was not surprised that zebras have proven to be so elusive.
Unlike domesticated horses that return to a barn after slacking off, zebras are wild animals and “don’t like people in general,” he said. And they may not need to feed on the grain intended for them as bait, if they can find enough food to munch on elsewhere.
If the zebras continue to escape capture, “they should be able to do just fine” in Prince George County, Dr Rubenstein said.
The county has plenty of lawns, fields and pastures where the zebras can graze, as well as streams and other places where they can drink water, which they have to do once a day. -he declares.
And with the Lions shortage in the Greater Washington area, they have no natural predators, he said, adding “coyotes they can deal with.”
Although zebras “don’t like snow,” they can survive colder temperatures in the fall and winter. Zebras, he said, live on the slopes of Mount Kenya at 13,000 feet, where nighttime temperatures dip to 30 degrees.
“They should be able to thrive quite well,” said Dr Rubenstein. “They will be able to maintain themselves naturally in this landscape. “
He suggested that the farm stalk the zebras with infrared cameras or drones, then tranquilize them or lead them to a corral.
But the zebras might not stay in the area for long, warned Dr Rubenstein.
If the escaped zebras are not part of a family group, they can split up and roam on their own, making them even more difficult to capture. “If they start to go their own way,” he said, “who knows? “