Zebras in Maryland

Hunter Savell

In the coastal state of Maryland, bustling with cities and woods alike, the last thing that one would expect to see is a small herd of exotic equines.

On August 31 of this year, three of these creatures were reported to authorities as they were spotted “in a wooded area of Upper Marlboro, about 20 miles from the nation’s capital,” according to the Chief of Prince George’s County Animal Services Division, Rodney Taylor. Later, it was discovered that five total zebras had begun to make their way through the town. Taylor notes how much buzz this situation has created, as such an unusual event is bound to draw in curious eyes. As they track the zebras’ paths, according to Taylor, it seems that the animals are travelling through the woods and between two different farms.

After looking into the whereabouts of the zebras, it was discovered that the “zebras escaped from a 300-acre farm owned by Jerry Holly,” who is “legally licensed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to keep 39 zebras.” Upon requests made by Taylor and other investigators, the USDA did not respond or make any comments.

According to public records, it was noted that Holly “either owns or once owned the Shiloh Zoo and Park in Micanopy, Florida,” thus giving a glimpse at a possibility for an explanation of this strange occurrence. Holly is reported to have not known how the animals escaped, but is planning on helping them return home soon. He explained that he will be setting up “a feeding station in the woods with cameras mounted on trees where the zebras have been congregating” in order to “slowly corral them so they don’t get spooked.”

Despite the unbelievable insanity of the situation at hand, the baffling presence of zebras in this town seemed to brighten the days of many civilians. Paul Curling, whose daughter initially spotted these striped equine, noted that his daughter was amazed at such a wondrous sight. He further commented on how she had raced upstairs to tell his wife, who did not believe such a claim until the whole family saw the spectacle from out a bedroom window. The family has often seen “deer, foxes and raccoons in the backyard,” but they had seen “nothing like this” before. Such excitement has brought new adventure into this family’s lives and many others around them, as they all have “been pretty much looking and glancing around ever since to see if they possibly make a reappearance,” according to Curling.