Sasquatch Coffee


It’s A Zebra!

Posted by: Loren Coleman on March 8th, 2009

This is an update to the reports of a striped cryptid being sighted and first seen around Little Hocking, Ohio.

It is definitely a zebra. The apparently as-yet-uncaught animal wandering around Ohio has been photographed in Athens County.

People in Athens County were getting tired of folks saying they were crazy when they said they saw a zebra. They decided to take some pictures.

“The zebra ran past me and I decided to go home and get my camera because I figured nobody would believe me,” Zach Hall said.

“You look up on the hill and there was that zebra, so we came home and got our camera and went back down the road, and they were trying to lasso it and they tried to get it with a bucket of food, but it just got spooked and took off,” Connie Johnson said.

The animal was last seen in Torch, Ohio.

No definite word yet if this zebra has been caught. Reports that it was captured on March 1st or that a private owner has come forth still are just rumors.

These photographs are so clear, I think the variety of this zebra can be positively identified. This animal appears to be a Grant’s Zebra (Equus burchelli bohmi or Burchelli bohmi). The Grant’s species or subspecies (depending on what school you agree with) is the most abundant of the four species or subspecies of zebra. This would be the most logical variety to have been kept in private captivity.

Thanks to Cathleen Moxley.

About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013.


21 Responses to “It’s A Zebra!”

  1. kittenz responds:

    I’m not surprised. There are a lot of people in Ohio who keep captive exotic wildliife. Ohio is a haven for backyard menageries and roadside zoos because the laws there are so lax.

    Let’s hope this zebra is recaptured before it meets someone’s escaped lion :) .

  2. coelacanth1938 responds:

    Well, at least people are finally taking clearer photographs of supposed cryptids.

  3. shumway10973 responds:

    That animal is definitely someone’s pet. Though people couldn’t catch it, I think we can safely say that it is use to being around people who aren’t playing cowboy. Now we just need a domestic Bigfoot to pose for someone.

  4. Jokers_Wild responds:

    There was a zebra on the loose in Fort Gibson, Oklahoma back in 2007. It turned out to be someone’s pet, which is probably what will happen regarding this incident. You can find the zebra story by going here, and putting “zebra” in the search function.

    Oh, and hey, everybody, first post here. :-)

  5. Spinach Village responds:

    Funny …. is it bad to let this animal just roam? I doesn’t seem to pose a threat to anybody.

  6. scosmo451 responds:

    Obvious Photoshop. Can’t believe what these hoaxers will try :)

  7. CryptidHuntr responds:

    i think its Photoshop 2.

  8. mystery_man responds:

    Well, those photos are certainly not of the fuzzy, blobsquatch variety. It looks to me as if the zebra pretty much let the photographer come right up to it. Now if only some other cryptids would be so camera friendly. :)

  9. HOOSIERHUNTER responds:

    Nope, you’re all wrong it’s obviously a striped otter- rare maybe but perfectly explainable. :)

  10. jasephotos responds:

    It’s also possible that this zebra escaped from The Wilds. They have a small herd of Grevy’s Zebra and are not terribly far from Athens.

  11. Loren Coleman responds:

    This is very clearly not a Grévy’s zebra (Equus grevyi).

    Grévy’s zebras are endangered, and one of their distinctive field markers are the lack of striping going all the way down to and under their bellies.

  12. wisaaka responds:

    I’m hoping the people of this area leave this zebra alone, for it to be free and happy, and that some day they completely (re)stock the zebra population. Viva le Zebra.

  13. Alligator responds:

    “I’m hoping the people of this area leave this zebra alone, for it to be free and happy, and that some day they completely (re)stock the zebra population. Viva le Zebra.”

    Why would you want a colony of wild Zebras in Ohio? Its an exotic, an invasive species. Heaven knows there are enough ecological problems with exotics establishing themselves in non-native environments. Besides you cannot “re-stock” something that was never there originally. Would we want to re-stock bison on the plains of the Serengeti? If you are being tongue in cheek, just ignore my post :)

  14. cryptidsrus responds:

    Hopefully, the animal can be “restocked” where there are other zebras.

  15. kittenz responds:

    For both the zebra’s safety and the safety of the public, the sooner it is recaptured, the better.

    It looks sleek and healthy now, but how will it be after a couple of months trying to fend for itself? Granted, one zebra is not likely to do too much environmental damage, but it could get tangle in barbed wire, or chased by feral dogs. Or worse, the zebra could stray into traffic and be struck and injured or killed.

    jasephotos,

    I’m glad that you mentioned The Wilds. It’s an awesome project.

  16. coelacanth1938 responds:

    “Funny …. is it bad to let this animal just roam? I doesn’t seem to pose a threat to anybody.”

    It depends if the zebra knows enough to avoid cars and trucks.

  17. browwiw responds:

    Aren’t zebras supposed to be terribly ornery and kind of vicious? I read once that the zebra’s mean-spirited attitude is why the peoples of Africa never really tried to domesticate them and that more zookeepers die of zebra attacks each year than all caged large cat attacks combined. But, then, I put a lot of questionable knowledge in my head.

  18. wisaaka responds:

    Alligator and others: I’m being fun and/or funny. Obviously I’m not actually advocating the “stocking” of zebras in rural Ohio. Why or how could anyone believe that I’m not being “tongue in cheek”?

    Still though, Viva le Zebra.

  19. TheBibliophile responds:

    As usual, it’s up to me to point out that this is CLEARLY nothing more than a fox with mange. It just appears to be a zebra due to the shadows and foreshortening effect of the camera. ;)

    What a strikingly beautiful animal, it would be a real treat to see one in the flesh outside a zoo. The surreal factor of seeing it in rural Ohio mush have been delightful for the first few witnesses, but what a tough sell to try and convince anyone without photos this clear. “No, it WASN’T a spotted horse, it was a blankety-blank ZEBRA!”

    Browiw – I too have heard that the zebra is almost impossible to domesticate, which would probably explain why none have ever shown up as a beast of burden or riding animal in historical accounts.

  20. kittenz responds:

    Historical anecdotes have it that zebras, especially Plains zebras such as the one in these photos, are ornery and hard to tame. Grevy’s zebras, on the other hand, are said to be easily tamed and have even been used to pull carriages.

    But here is a link to a page at messybeast that shows zebras under harness.

    Some of the photos are of Plains zebras, some of Grevy’s. Grevy’s zebras are much more horselike than other zebras. Zebras have also been crossed with horses and sometimes with donkeys, in an attempt to create a mule-like animal that is immune to trypanosomiasis (a disease spread by tsetse flies); the attempts have met with varying success and the hybrid has never been much more than a novelty.

  21. pumpkinlettuce responds:

    We Ohioans love our zebras :]



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