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What Wild Animals Are Loose in Suburban Maryland?

Suburban Maryland has seen its share of wild animals roaming freely, from wandering black bears to coyotes, and even the occasional deer. These creatures navigate the delicate balance between nature and human habitats, often searching for food or shelter. Have you ever encountered wildlife in your backyard? Share your story and join the conversation on coexisting with our four-legged neighbors.

What's black and white and roaming all over Maryland? As of October 2021, the answer is: two zebras. Three escapees from a farm in Upper Marlboro, Prince George's County, left home at the end of August, separating themselves from a herd of about 40, though one was later found dead in a snare trap. While sightings have been reported several times (and posted all over social media), the striped equines are most likely still close to home and surviving on nearby grass and shrubs, while drinking from streams and rivers, according to experts.

While far from dangerous, the zebras are probably keeping away from anything that might scare them, like traffic, noise, and people. According to the county animal control agency, plans are in place to capture the refugees by corralling them inside a feeding area set as bait. If they do manage to stay on the lam into winter, they should be fine by settling into areas with wind protection.

The zebra zone:

  • Zebras are related to horses, which might explain why they can run up to 40 mph (65 km/h).

  • A zebra's stripes are like a human fingerprint: each pattern is unique to a specific zebra.

  • While horses were domesticated thousands of years ago, zebras never were, which makes them impossible to ride.

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    • Two zebras (similar to those seen here) that escaped from a private farm in Maryland in August are still loose and roaming the suburbs.
      By: Bernard DUPONT
      Two zebras (similar to those seen here) that escaped from a private farm in Maryland in August are still loose and roaming the suburbs.