Neighbors in northern Florida are wondering why the owner of a zebra shot the animal with what appeared was a high-powered rifle, killing it, after it escaped from the man’s property, Wednesday afternoon.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said the man, who was from Callahan, Florida, did not have a permit to own the animal. Nassau County deputies said the owner shot the zebra after it got hurt during its escape.
However, one neighbor who witnessed the zebra’s death said the animal didn’t appear to be hurt.
The man, who asked not be identified, said he saw the zebra’s owner shoot the animal after following it onto someone’s private property.
“The owner … basically turned in front of the zebra and shot it with a high-powered rifle,” the neighbor said.
Neighbors said they have questions, saying the animal did not appear to be injured or limping.
“The zebra (looked) fine to us,” the man said.
Some neighbors are wondering if the situation could have been handled differently.
“There was no attempt to try…to lasso it or try to contain it," another neighbor said.
“I didn’t think it was injured at all. He was just running,” Ashley Williams said.
Williams’ picture of the zebra is now making its way around the internet.
The FWC said the incident remains under investigation and a final report is being prepared.
"The reported owner of the animal did not have a valid captive wildlife license from the FWC. Zebras are classified as Class III wildlife.
"Captive Wildlife regulations and information can be found here: https://myfwc.com/wildlifehabitats/captive-wildlife/.
"The FWC is actively investigating this incident.
"Initial information indicates that the facility is not in possession of any additional captive wildlife that would be regulated by the FWC.”
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