A large male zebra living at an Ohio home was fatally shot by police after it started attacking its owner and charging at police in Circleville.
The attack occurred around 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, with Pickaway County Sheriff’s deputies responding to the home to discover the man lying on the ground along a fenced-in field. The man had been bitten by the zebra, who reportedly continued to behave aggressively and at one point charged the authority’s police cruiser. A deputy then scared the animal away via the car’s siren, but the zebra returned moments later to continue its attack on deputies and other first responders.
First responders then provided a tourniquet to the man’s hand, and helped him into a nearby ambulance. As the zebra returned, CBS affiliate WBNS reports, Officers were told by the family they could shoot the zebra if he attacked again, which he did. Bodycam footage shows an officer using a shotgun to take out the animal.
It’s unclear what caused the zebra to become aggressive, but officials theorized that it felt the need to be protective due to “about five or six female zebras that were in [a nearby] field,” which they said is common for zebras. The victim was hospitalized and is expected to recover. The incident report initially stated the victim’s arm was severed, but the sheriff later confirmed that the owner’s arm was not dismembered.
Under Ohio law, zebras are not considered exotic animals.