The Maryland Zebras Refuse to Give Up on Freedom

The five zebras escaped a Maryland farm on Aug. 31. They’ve been on the lam ever since.
This zebra broke free from a zoo in Germany. (BERND WUESTNECK / dpa / AFP via Getty Images)

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The zebras are still on the loose.

Five of the beautiful, striped, and tireless creatures escaped from a private farm in Prince George's County, Maryland, on Aug. 31—and, since tasting sweet freedom, have evaded capture. 

One was spotted just this week crossing a road in Upper Marlboro, about 20 miles from the White House, presumably on the way to meet with someone of great importance. Video shows the zebra only seconds before it slipped into the night, unwilling to be perceived. 


It’s not that animal control in Prince George’s County is phoning it in, either. Workers set up a feeding station to lure the zebras back to their home—a legal farm owned by a wealthy breeder, apparently. When that didn’t immediately work, animal control also erected a corral around the area where the zebras have been grazing, according to WRC-TV, an NBC affiliate in Washington

Nonetheless, officials have been unable to rein in this dazzle—yes, dazzle—of zebras. 

“They are animals that you just can't walk up and put a lasso on,” Rodney Taylor, the chief of Prince George’s County’s animal services division, told WRC-TV. “They're going to run away from you.” 

Taylor, who did not immediately respond to VICE News’ request for comment Friday, has advised people to not approach the zebras if they’re spotted, since they could bite, according to the Washington Post. 

Alas, this is not even the first time this year that zebras have escaped man-made living quarters. Sheriff's deputies in Outagamie County, Wisconsin, also had to deal with some loose zebras this month, though their owner was eventually able to round them up, according to UPI. A zebra also fled a livestock auction in Putnam County, Tennessee, in May, then got mad (valid) when local cops unsuccessfully attempted to tase it during what local media described as an “hours-long hunt.” 

But, remarkably, the Maryland zebras have been on the lam for nearly a month—a testament to their endurance.