Zebra escapes from pen near Riverview, runs loose for over an hour

By Laurie Davison, Reporter
Last Updated: Saturday, May 06, 2017, 3:01 PM EDT

A zebra got out of its pen in Balm on Friday and ran loose for over an hour that included the animal colliding with a truck on State Road 672 in Riverview.  

  • Zebra ran loose for more than an hour in Riverview
  • Zebra's owner has permit to own exotic animals
  • Animal collided with pickup truck while it was on the run
  • Zebra was safely returned to its pen in Balm

Riverview resident Mark Ross, who was home on his lunch break, saw the zebra in his backyard when he let his dogs out.

"I kind of thought, at first, I better pinch myself," Ross said. "I must be hallucinating or something, because I really had to ask myself, 'Is this a zebra?'"

"But there was no getting around it — it was definitely a zebra," he continued. "Then I started worrying about, 'How are we going to catch it?' "

Hillsborough County deputies said the female zebra escaped from a property nearby that houses exotic animals. It eluded capture for more than an hour before deputies could corral and return it to its pen.

Before they could do that, however, the zebra was involved in a "hit and run" of sorts. It collided with a pickup truck on S.R. 672 near Amber Street.

The driver of a Ford F-150 truck was traveling northbound on S.R. 672 when the zebra ran into the driver's side of the truck.

The impact broke the truck's side mirror, and some of the glass hit the driver, who suffered small lacerations.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials said the owner of the zebra, who was not available to speak to us, has a permit to have exotic animals on their property, and the property was inspected recently.

Currently, investigators are trying to determine how the zebra got out and whether any charges will be filed.