Police kill zebra after it nearly bites off owner's arm

ByIvan Pereira ABCNews logo
Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Police killed a zebra in Ohio after it attacked and nearly bit off its owner's arm.

Officers from the Pickaway County Sheriff's Office were called Sunday to a rural property in Circleville, Ohio, around 5:36 p.m. They found Ronald Clifton on the ground in front of a herd of zebras. He was hemorrhaging blood below his right elbow from a bite wound, according to the police report.

An officer placed his car between the 72-year-old victim and the herd to help tend to Clifton when he said "a large male zebra charged my driver side door and was acting very hostile," the police report said.

After the officer was able to scare off the hostile zebra with his vehicle's airhorns and sirens, he and his partner were able to administer a tourniquet on Clifton's arm and get him up on his feet, the report said.

While Clifton was being cared for by EMS personnel, officers observed the same male zebra approach Clifton's family and the officers, according to the report. The family authorized the police to shoot the zebra if it got too close, the report said.

A police sergeant yelled at the zebra three times as it approached her and then fired at its head with her shotgun, killing it, according to the report.

The officer who shot the zebra said it was "protective of about five or six female zebras that were in the field at this location upon our arrival," according to the report.

Clifton was taken to a hospital and his family told first responders on Monday that he was in stable condition and won't lose his arm, according to ABC Columbus affiliate WSYX-TV.

The other zebras on the property will likely not be removed, WSYX reported.

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