- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 14, 2023

A zebra in Pickaway County, Ohio, was shot dead by police Sunday after the animal bit its 72-year-old owner’s arm.

Deputies from the Pickaway County Sheriff’s Office arrived at a fenced-in field in Circleville, Ohio, to find Ronald Clifton, the owner of the property and zebras, on the ground with a severe wound to his arm below the elbow.

The male zebra charged at the officers’ cruisers as they arrived, and horns and sirens were needed to scare it off. Mr. Clifton was then helped into an ambulance.

When the zebra turned and moved toward the area where Mr. Clifton‘s family and emergency services were located, the police tried to scare it off to no avail. A deputy proceeded to finish off the equine with a headshot.

“I had to make a decision. I put a slug right between its eyes,” the unnamed deputy told WSYX, a Columbus, Ohio, ABC affiliate.

Mr. Clifton was taken to a Columbus hospital and will not lose his arm.

The zebra’s aggression was in part motivated by the presence of several female zebras on the property. In nature, male zebras keep harems of mares and their foals, and it’s possible the zebra saw Mr. Clifton and the deputies as a threat to them.

“Speaking with some of the family members and friends, apparently this zebra has been aggressive in the past. I told the deputy I fully support what he did,” Pickaway County Sheriff Matthew Hafey told WCMH-TV, a Columbus, Ohio, NBC affiliate.

Zebras are not considered a dangerous exotic animal required to be registered under Ohio law, and as such the other zebras are not under threat of confiscation.

• Brad Matthews can be reached at bmatthews@washingtontimes.com.

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