Organization formed to help catch zebras loose in Prince George's County asked to stand down
PRINCE GEORGE'S COUNTY, Md. (FOX 5 DC) - The search is still on for the two zebras who have been on the loose in Prince George’s County since August.
The zebras were a part of a herd of 36 living on a local farm. A few weeks ago another zebra was found dead on that farm. The owner is facing criminal charges.
READ MORE: Maryland owner of zebras that broke loose faces criminal charges
Last week, Prince George’s County Department of Environment asked an organization formed to help catch the two zebras to stand down.
For weeks, we’ve been getting an inside look at the zebras through the organization, Save the Zebras. The couple set up cameras on a neighboring property and fed the animals hay.
But on Friday, they were told by animal control to take the cameras down and stop feeding the exotic pair.
READ MORE: Zebra that escaped from farm in Prince George's County confirmed dead; 2 remain loose
Animal Control wouldn’t comment specifically on why but FOX 5 spoke to an expert at the Maryland Zoo who says it’s likely the well-meaning people feeding the animals are interfering with the department’s plan to catch them.
"If there is food available they are definitely going to take the easiest option to them. Which then I imagine for animal control it’s is going to make it tricky to get the zebras to go where they want them to go," Erin Grimm, Mammal Collection and Conservation Manager for the Maryland Zoo said.
Right now, there’s concern over the dropping temperatures. Grimm says while zebras are indigenous to South Africa and warmer climates, it doesn’t necessarily mean they can’t handle the cold.
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"For our zebras they’re pretty cold hearty. I think it’s mostly from what they’re acclimated to. At our zoo we give them access outside as long as it’s above freezing. They have an option to come into a heated area but most choose to stay outdoors," Grimm said.