Seeing a zebra run past your car when you’re driving on a neighborhood street is enough to make anyone wonder if they need a vacation. Carmichael motorists weren’t suffering from stress-related hallucinations this past weekend; there really were zebras on the loose. Two wayward zebras escaped from their home where they are kept as pets and did what any respectable prey animal would do when scared – they ran.
The zebras were being loaded onto a trailer when they were spooked by dogs and got away from their owner, taking off in opposite directions. Sherriff’s deputies got the first calls about the wayward equids around 7 p.m. on Saturday. The zebras were spotted running the streets in the vicinity of Fair Oaks, Arden and Manzanita Ave.
The deputies were able to corner the first zebra in a neighborhood but it charged past them before they were able to restrain it. An hour and a half after the initial reports, it ran into an apartment complex where it took a dip in the pool before it was captured and safely loaded into a trailer.
The second zebra startled a motorist, Jennifer Mosher, when she was driving on Manzanita Avenue and it hit her car. Her car suffered major damage, including a broken rear passenger-side window. Pieces of broken glass hit Mosher’s two-year-old son sitting in the back seat. The boy suffered from cuts but, aside from being wary about getting into the car, is okay. Witnesses reportedly told Mosher that the zebra flipped over her car and kept running after the collision. The zebra was caught later in the day and was examined by a veterinarian before it was loaded onto a trailer.
Thankfully, both zebras are okay and have been transported to the owner’s property in Oregon. They were part of a herd of seven zebras that Michael Mastagni and his father were keeping on their property in Carmichael. Mastagni was trying to move the zebras to their Oregon property because he had been encountering problems with the zebras being spooked by feral dogs. Their Carmichael property is zoned for livestock and no permit violations were found.
This incident raises questions about the dangers of keeping exotic animals as pets. The Sacramento Zoo recently responded to this case and issued warnings about keeping wild animals such as zebras, parrots, chimpanzees and tigers. Read the full story at http://www.news10.net/news/local/story.aspx?storyid=91197&catid=2. View videos of the loose zebras at http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/ktxl-news-zebrasontheloose,0,7211866.story.