Germany animal services criticized for killing runaway circus zebra

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In Stettin, Germany, a runaway zebra that had escaped from his cage while traveling with the Circus Barlay, was shot and killed by an animal services’ officer on Wednesday. The owners of the circus state they will be pressing charges.

According to a press release from the Rostock Police Headquarters, the zebra was one of two that escaped while the circus was setting up at their latest stop. One zebra was safely captured, but the other one, named  Pumba, ran on to the A20 motorway causing a minor accident between two cars as they swerved to avoid hitting the zebra. No one was injured including Pumba.

Police tweeted out a warning that a “runaway zebra” had been running loose on the roadway. Authorities closed off the road, however the scared animal proceeded to flee damaging other vehicles.

It is not known why city officials could not have used a tranquilizer dart after a witness stated there was no danger to humans.

“He [the zebra] was exhausted, his head was down,” the witness stated.

According to the Guardian, the owners of the Circus Barlay said they will press charges against the shooter. Police said they were not aware animal rescue service officers had guns.

Since when are wild animals expected to be able to read road signs? No one was hurt in the minor accidents on the roadway – yet the zebra in a natural instinct to flee was shot dead.

Rest in peace Pumba.

(Photos screenshots via the Guardian)

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