Law enforcement officials ended up being forced to take down a zebra roaming around in Ohio this past Sunday in the wake of the beast tearing off a man’s arm as he strolled his rural property.
Deputies from the Pickaway Country Sheriff’s Office were called up at around 5:30 p.m. by 72-year-old Ronald Clifton this past Sunday after the man was attacked by the animal.
A stunned emergency services operator fired back a question in shock, “You got attacked by a what?!”
“Oh hell yes, I think he tore my arm off … send a chopper,” Clifton answered. “Come before it gets me again!”
Once police officers made it to the scene, they found a whole herd of zebras. One of the officers quickly parked his patrol vehicle between the victim and the animals.
“One of the zebra actually went up to our deputy, the first one that was on scene, and poked his head towards the driver’s side of his car and his window,” stated Pickaway County Sheriff’s Lt. Jonathan Strawser. “The deputy had to hit the air horn to get the zebra to go away.”
While first responders worked to stabilize Clifton, police deputies brandished their shotguns as they kept a lookout against the animals walking nearby.
Video of the incident shows the zebra starting to pace back and forth before approaching one of the police officers, who warned it to back off with a loud shout, and when the zebra failed to stop he opened fire on the animal from a distance of 15-20 feet. The zebra finally died just a few feet from the deputy as it kept charging.
“I had to make a decision,” stated Sgt. Stacey Eitel in the clip. “I put a slug right between its eyes.”
Later on in the clip, Eitel stated, “I ain’t going to let no one else get hurt. It wasn’t going to stop. It kept coming.”
ABC News issued a report the Eitel said in his report that the male zebra that he was forced to take down was “protective of about five or six female zebras that were in the field at this location upon our arrival.”
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The victim was rushed to an area hospital. His family states that he is not expected to lose his arm and should end up making a full recovery.
One local news station known to be an affiliate for ABC News stated in its report that zebras are allowed to be pets in the state of Ohio and thus are most likely not going to be taken from the property.