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A zebra that escaped from a Maryland farm has died, officials say

A Zebra stands in the shade at the Los Angeles Zoo as a heat wave hits Los Angeles on Oct. 6, 2014.
Mark Ralston
AFP via Getty Images
A Zebra stands in the shade at the Los Angeles Zoo as a heat wave hits Los Angeles on Oct. 6, 2014.

Updated October 15, 2021 at 5:40 PM ET

One of three zebras that were on the loose in the Washington, D.C., suburb of Prince George's County, Md., since August has been found dead.

The zebra was reportedly found on private property in Upper Marlboro, Md., on Sept. 16, said Lauren Moses, spokesperson for the Maryland Natural Resources Police, in an email to NPR.

According to Moses, officers arrived at the property and discovered — in a snare trap near a field — a dead zebra, which officials believe is one of the zebras that have been on the loose in the county.

Currently, two zebras are still at large in the county, said Linda Lowe, a spokesperson for the Prince George's County Department of the Environment, in an email to NPR.

Lowe said that initial reports of there being five zebra on the loose were incorrect and that only three escaped from the herd.

According to the state's Natural Resources Department, it is illegal to use, sell, possess, set, place or maintain a snare trap in seven out of 23 Maryland counties, one of them being Prince George's.

The property owner hopes to use food to help safely draw the roaming zebras back into the herd — to prevent any other potential risk to the animals, Lowe said.

"Our priority is to make sure the zebras are captured and returned to the herd," said Andrea Crooms, director of the county's Department of Environment.

News of the zebra's death drew a lot of emotional responses on Twitter as many users mourned its loss, including the Maryland zebra parody Twitter account.

Right now, an investigation is underway to determine who set the trap on the private property.

The Maryland Natural Resources Police along with the Prince George's County, Md., Animal Facility will conduct the investigation, Moses said.

The person who set the trap could face charges.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Jonathan Franklin
Jonathan Franklin is a digital reporter on the News desk covering general assignment and breaking national news.