Striped Cryptid Sighted

Posted by: Loren Coleman on March 6th, 2009


The cryptid being sighted is unlikely to be a quagga.

Apparently while I was in London, quite a bit of dust was kicked up over in Little Hocking, Washington County, Ohio, by the sightings of at least one striped horse-like cryptid.

Now why would I call it a “striped horse-like cryptid,” you might ask? Because that’s what it looks like, of course.

Understandably, the local media talked about sightings of “an escaped zebra” occurring during the last week of February 2009, in Washington and Athens counties, Ohio. But think of it. The animals seen are ethnoknown, look like zebras, but no one knows if they are zebras.

So by definition, they are cryptids and appear to have the shape of horses with stripes on them.


It will be recalled that until they were confirmed and classified, okapis were thought to be some undiscovered new species of Congolese rainforest-dwelling zebra. This is not to say there are okapis running around Ohio, but assumed descriptions do not necessarily match up with all final identifications.

The Washington County Sheriff’s Office was somewhat skeptical of the accounts until a trooper actually spotted “the animal,” and then, according to the media, the “authorities could believe what they were hearing.”

“When people first started calling in, there was some speculation that they may have been intoxicated when they observed these animals, or this zebra, but over the period of the week we’ve learned that there actually is a zebra on the loose,” Sgt. Pat Gherke said.

“No word yet on exactly who the owner is,” mentioned one local paper.

So, right now, the animal is an unidentified cryptid, until it is captured, and definitely verified to be a zebra, quagga, zonkey, or something else.

Let’s just hope it isn’t a white horse painted with stripes so someone could sell “zebra rides”!!

(Photo thanks to Bridle Path.)

As to the 2006 affair….do you remember the Alberta 2006 escapee? Early reports said it was a “quagga” but photos told another story.

Zebastian, the Alberta escapee, was claimed to be a quagga, but he did not exhibit the classic quagga striping, but that of a zebra-horse hybrid.

Zebastian the Quagga Zebra

Click on image for full-size version

Zebastian the Quagga Zebra

Click on image for full-size version


The public domain images shown are an old photograph, directly above, and (at top) a print of the known (extinct) quagga from Africa, along with the new ones sent in of Zebastian.

Thanks to Red Grossinger in Whitehorse, Yukon, for sharing the Zebastian images.

Maybe the Ohio animal was caught during this last week, and I just haven’t been able to find a record of that yet.

Loren Coleman About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. 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. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.

8 Responses to “Striped Cryptid Sighted”

  1. cryptidsrus responds:

    Hopefully the “cryptid” will be found soon, Loren…
    If it hasn’t already, as you stated.
    Wouldn’t it be something if it turned out to be an Okapi???
    I just love it that the Police did not believe the story until one of their own saw it. Anybody else was “intoxicated.” Sheesh.

  2. Bob K. responds:

    I’m amazed at some of the exotics that people keep. I’d like to share a story concerning this.

    I live about a half-hour east of the small town of Cathlamet, Wa., which is situated on Hwy 4 along the Columbia River. Cathlamet is connected by bridge to Puget Island. Puget Island seems to be largely a farming community, with plenty of small cattle farms. I’ll occasionally travel across to the south side of the island in order to take the Wahkiakum Ferry to the Oregon side of the river.

    About 6-8 months ago, I was traveling south across the Island when, just off the road and to my right, I saw something so odd that it just wouldn’t register for a moment. It was a bactrian camel, showing its full profile! I wanted to slow down and take a better look, but there were cars traveling at a pretty good clip behind me that were likely heading to the ferry as I was, so I had to keep motoring, and there were no good places to turn off the road.

    In subsequent travels across the island I have tried to spot this animal again, but have been unsuccessful. Now I’m no expert on exotic animal law, but if someone can keep a bactrian camel on their farm, why not a zebra? And if the zebra (or zebra-horse hybrid [?]) escapes, that would certainly account for a striped horse sighting or two.

  3. kittenz responds:

    Bob K.,

    The laws concerning hoofed stock vary from state to state, although there are some federal laws, intended to prevent specific diseases being introduced into the US, that supersede state laws.

    There are quite a few people who keep camels and rent them out for live nativity displays. You may see reindeer in some places too!

  4. sschaper responds:

    It may not be relevant in this case, I can’t tell from the article, but some Appaloosa horses have stripes on their legs.

  5. kittenz responds:

    Some dun-colored horses have zebra-like stripes on the legs as well.

  6. Bob K. responds:

    Thanks for the info, kittenz. I have seen live reindeer at nativity displays, but have yet to see a camel at one. Thats probably the best explanation. The “ship of the desert” seemed quite out of place in the rainy PNW.

  7. Spinach Village responds:

    Interesting story… Ohio seems to have its share of odd wild-life keepers … I would love to know the whole truth concerning this.

    Thank you, Loren.

    Spincah Village

    There is an update of this story that has been posted on Sunday, March 8, 2009. ~ Loren

  8. pumpkinlettuce responds:

    I live in central Ohio and a man about an hour away from me has a small farm of exotics. He has a zebra, a caribou, a bison, and a few others I’m forgetting. I can’t guarantee I would have heard about his zebra getting away from him but curious things like this usually overlap our otherwise boring news.

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