zebras

Owner of Escaped Maryland Zebras Charged With Animal Cruelty

This comes days after one of the three zebras on the run was found dead.

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The owner of zebras that escaped in Maryland's Prince George's County in late August was charged with animal cruelty, court documents say.

Jerry Lee Holly faces three counts of animal cruelty.

This comes days after one of the three zebras on the run was found dead, caught in a snare near the enclosure where Holly's 36 other zebras are held on a farm in Upper Marlboro.

The investigating officer for the county's Department of Natural Resources wrote that he believed the zebra "should have been seen or heard while it was dying from being caught in the snare if the caretaker had attended to the zebras in the fenced enclosure."

The officer said the zebra most likely died of dehydration "after a few days struggling in the trap," the documents say.

It wasn't immediately clear if Holly had a lawyer.

"...The failure to provide for the 3 at-large zebras, combined with the description of the death of the at-large zebra above, is sufficient circumstantial evidence of neglect to warrant criminal charge," the documents says.

Holly is a breeder and trader of exotic animals.

The zebras were first reported to have escaped on Aug. 31. County prosecutors say animal services told Holly that some of his zebras escaped on Aug. 26. but at the time he said "he had no plan to recapture the zebras at the time."

"These animals are being kept in the County in such manner as to disturb the peace, comfort, or health of neighbors and other residents of the County," the charging document said.

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