Man Shoots Zebra Dead After It Escapes His Florida Property

Colin Fredericson
By Colin Fredericson
March 29, 2019US News
Man Shoots Zebra Dead After It Escapes His Florida Property
A zebra at the Karen Golf Club in Nairobi, Kenya, on March 13, 2019. (Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)

A Florida man shot his pet zebra after it escaped his property.

It appears that the man did not own the zebra legally. He shot the zebra after it was somehow injured while making its escape from his property in Callahan, Florida.

“I was walking my dogs over there and all of a sudden we see a zebra trotting down this road, and it gets to this corner and stops and feeds,” said Jenee Watkins, a local resident, via WTLV. “And then cop cars come zooming so the zebra runs into this yard and then all the way into that back field. That’s when a car comes zooming, cops are zooming, I’m standing there, the owner shot it and the zebra fell.”

Another person was watching the situation unfold.

“He just shot him, he dropped,” said Stephen Young. “They could have lassoed him like they do in the rodeo, it was cornered.”

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is investigating the incident. When an authority from the commission arrived at the scene, he or she was surprised to hear how the zebra’s situation ended.

“He asked me, ‘Did they capture it?’ And I said, ‘Capture it? No, they killed it,’ he said, ‘No’,” Young told the authority.

A family member told WTLV that the zebra’s owner also owns Cottonwood Ranch, which is 2.5 miles from where the owner shot the zebra. The zebra was the only exotic animal the owner had in his possession. Residents had seen the zebra among the cattle on the ranch.

“Owner of zebra tells us he does not want to comment on what happened nor does he want to comment on FWC investigation that revealed he did not have a valid license for the animal,” WTLV reporter Shelby Danielsen wrote on Twitter.

Danielsen said that the Florida Wildlife Commission considers zebras Class III wildlife.

The Cottonwood Ranch website rents the ranch grounds out as an event space. The website does not mention a zebra but says 500 Angus cattle stay on the ranch’s 759 acres.

The website also displays a WeddingWire top ratings badge for The Barn at Cottonwood Ranch as a wedding destination.

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Other Zebra News

A woman in Kenya found that a zebra had wondered into a habitat where she keeps donkeys.

“The zebra came running and when it arrived where my three donkeys were tethered adjacent to my home it stopped and joined them,” said Kenya resident Mwende Masengo, via Standard Digital. “We thought it was just passing but it stayed there feeding with the donkeys until night fell. It never left.”

The zebra’s presence has brought Masengo various reactions from locals in the almost three years since it arrived.

“At first I had no peace, people would gossip around that it’s a ghost and I should be avoided. I lost many friends,” she said.

She said that Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) authorities didn’t help her deal with the zebra.

“We notified KWS officers and all they did was take pictures,” Masengo said.

Masengo thought the zebra would be a danger to her, “But with time, it’s like it has been domesticated and learned how to stay with people.”

Masengo and her family watch the zebra day and night to guard it from poachers.

Sometimes the zebra wanders onto private property and destroys water pipes.

“It’s expensive to keep this animal here when it’s feeding and getting watered with no benefit. Let KWS assist in domesticating it,” Masengo told Standard Digital.

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