Watch: Zebra’s Escape Creates Dangerous Situation for the Public and Animal

Published by Zachary Toliver.

A zebra who escaped from a compound ran amok through a Wimauma, Florida, community, evading authorities, trotting through residential areas, and injuring a driver.

This bewildered zebra collided with a car, sending shards of glass toward the driver.

Mark Ross, a resident who managed to film some of the incident, couldn’t believe that a zebra was actually grazing in his backyard. He said that the animal nearly ran him over after being spooked by two dogs.

Former UniverSoul Circus animal exhibitor Jennifer Caudill wouldn’t comment to reporters about the zebra’s escape. But if her employer’s track record is any indication, this escape probably won’t be the last.

On two other occasions—one in Philadelphia (which involved zebras leased from Caudill herself) and another in Oakland, California—zebras escaped from UniverSoul and ran through city streets.

UniverSoul is known to work with infamous animal abusers, such as Mitchel Kalmanson, who was fined $6,000 for allowing two tiger escapes from the circus, including one incident in which a tiger attacked an elephant.

Recent evidence shows that two elephants named Betty and Bo—who are exhibited by Larry Carden for UniverSoul Circus—had five years of reactive tuberculosis (TB) tests, suggesting that they’re likely carrying the disease. Despite the risk that they pose to the public—since TB can be passed from elephants to humans, even without direct contact—they’re still forced to perform.

In February—during a routine inspection of the circus while it was in Atlanta—animal control officers discovered numerous animal-welfare issues, including that Bo had what appeared to be a wound on his ankle. In addition, a zebra and camels were wounded and elephants had bruised feet.

Children would run screaming from circus tents if they knew how animals used by the circus are beaten and manipulated. Similarly, adults should never attend because of the dangerous public-safety records of exhibitors used by UniverSoul.

What You Can Do

This story is just more evidence that wild animals want to be free. Families should refuse to buy a ticket to any circus or establishment that exploits animals.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind