Dazzle of Loose Zebras Spotted in Backyard After Farm Escape

A dazzle of zebras is on the loose in Maryland.

According to local reports, three zebras escaped a private farm last week and were seen wandering around a residential backyard on Tuesday. As of Tuesday afternoon, animal control officers were attempting to corral the animals so they could return them to their owner.

Though it is legal to own zebras in the state of Maryland, they don't always make the best pets.

NBC affiliate station News4 Washington reported Tuesday that three zebras were found roaming through a residential backyard in Upper Marlboro, Maryland. The woman who first spotted them, Layla Curling, rushed to tell her mother the odd news.

"I thought it was a deer for a second and then I saw it was a zebra—a whole zebra right next to our playground right next to the fence," Layla told News4. "So, I ran upstairs to get a better look up there and then I said, 'Mom, there's, like, a Zebra outside our playground' and she didn't believe me and said I was crazy."

But once her mother, Alexis Reed Curling, saw the animals for herself, she called local authorities to report the sighting.

"I called 311 and she thought I was crazy, she thought I was crazy," Alexis told News4. "She paused for a long minute. I said, 'Ma'am, I am not drinking. I have not had any drugs. I have zebras in my backyard walking on the train tracks.'"

Many states, including Maryland, allow individuals to own zebras with proper licensing. That said, it is important to know that they don't always make the greatest pets.

The Library of Congress warned that zebras cannot be domesticated, though many have tried.

"To be domesticated, animals must meet certain criteria," the Library's website reads. "For example, they must have a good disposition and should not panic under pressure.

"Zebras' unpredictable nature and tendency to attack preclude them from being good candidates for domestication," the Library continued.

Locals should also avoid approaching the animals, as they can be aggressive. According to Discover Wildlife, BBC's wildlife magazine, zebras will "viciously bite" any person that comes too close.

Thankfully, there have been no reports of zebra-human conflict in Maryland.

In addition to being seen in the Curlings' backyard, Fox 5 DC reported that a zebra was spotted running toward a vehicle on August 31.

News4 stated the zebras were last seen in a field. In an attempt to corral the animals, animal control officers set up a "feeding station" nearby. Hopefully soon, the zebras will be returned to their rightful home.

zebras
Three zebras from a local private farm were found in a Maryland resident's backyard. Stock image of three zebras in Africa. Cavan Images/iStock