Law enforcement officials were forced to kill a zebra in Ohio on Sunday after it nearly tore a man’s arm off on his rural property.
Deputies from the Pickaway County Sheriff’s Office received the call from 72-year-old Ronald Clifton at around 5:30 p.m. on Sunday after he reported being attacked by the animal.
A stunned operator asked the man, “You got attacked by a what?!”
“Oh hell yes, I think he tore my arm off … send a chopper,” Clifton responded. “Come before it gets me again!”
When deputies arrived at the scene they discovered a herd of zebras. One of the deputies parked his vehicle in between the victim and the zebra.
“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,” Pickaway County Sheriff’s Lt. Jonathan Strawser said. “The deputy had to hit the air horn to get the zebra to go away.”
While first responders worked on Clifton, deputies had their shotguns drawn as they watched the animal walking around nearby.
Video shows the zebra started to walk toward one of the deputies, who warned it to back off, and when the zebra did not stop he opened fire on the animal from 15-20 feet away. The zebra died just a few feet from the deputy.
“I had to make a decision,” Sgt. Stacey Eitel says in the clip. “I put a slug right between its eyes.”
Later in the clip, Eitel said, “I ain’t going to let no one else get hurt. It wasn’t going to stop. It kept coming.”
ABC News reported that Eitel said in his report that the male zebra that he had to kill was “protective of about five or six female zebras that were in the field at this location upon our arrival.”
An Ohio man, whose arm was nearly bitten off by a zebra he owned, called 911 to request medical help on his property on Sunday. https://t.co/qPt1QRzxI9 pic.twitter.com/1S4sfpJasu
— Enquirer (@Enquirer) March 15, 2023
Clifton was taken to a nearby hospital. His family says that he is not expected to lose his arm and is expected to make a full recovery.
A local ABC News affiliate reported that zebras are allowed to be pets in Ohio and thus are not likely to be removed from the property.