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Ohio deputies fatally shoot zebra who attacked man

Officers responded to a man who was severely bleeding from a zebra attack. Zebras are not considered a dangerous exotic animal in Ohio.
Posted at 3:37 PM, Mar 14, 2023

Deputies from the Pickaway County, Ohio, sheriff’s office fatally shot a zebra on Sunday after it attacked its owner in the arm. 

Bodycam video released by the sheriff’s office shows deputies responding to a man who was obviously bleeding. Deputies are seen placing a tourniquet on the man’s arm.

Moments later, multiple cruisers and an ambulance were in a field, providing treatment. Several minutes after law enforcement arrived, deputies told another man, “Is there a way to keep him back? We’re trying not to shoot him.”

The man then motioned a stick toward the zebra, which forced the zebra to take a few steps back from the deputies. About two minutes later, the zebra walked toward deputies, prompting one of the deputies to fire a round into the zebra’s head. 

Deputies said they were told by the owners if the zebra got any closer, they were permitted to shoot.

A serval is being treated

'Cocaine cat' escaped owner, will now live at Cincinnati Zoo

The slender feline made its escape after its owner was pulled over by police on Jan. 28, according to local animal control officials.


“Sheriff Matthew Hafey arrived on the scene just after this unit had shot this zebra,” deputy Stacey Eitel wrote in the incident report. “This unit informed Sheriff Matthew Hafey that this unit had no choice to put down this aggressive zebra for the safety of the deputies, EMS units and other people on the scene.”

The sheriff's office said a man was transported to a hospital in nearby Columbus after being bitten in the right arm. 

Ohio updated its exotic animal law over a decade ago when dozens of wild animals, which included lions, tigers, bears and monkeys, escaped a private property in Zanesville. ABC News reported that 49 animals were killed after their owner released the animals.

The Ohio law makes it illegal to possess certain dangerous exotic animals in a non-zoo setting, including lions and tigers. The law, however, does not list zebras as dangerous animals.