Marble Falls, Burnet, Kingsland, Llano, Spicewood, Horseshoe Bay, and ALL of the Highland Lakes
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A yearling zebra was roaming Spicewood after escaping from a local ranch on July 11. The animal was captured a week later. Courtesy photo
A yearling zebra that escaped from a Burnet County ranch on July 11 was captured the morning of Monday, July 18, after spending a week roaming the Spicewood countryside. Extreme heat, rough terrain, and a wildfire delayed its capture.
“We had a lot of good help from a lot of neighbors,” said ranch manager John Barber, who was on the scene of the zebra’s capture.
The ranch’s owner wished to remain anonymous, but Barber shared details regarding the circumstances of the animal’s escape and eventual capture.
According to Barber, the zebra, a female yearling, had made it through fencing on the ranch’s perimeter. He suspects the young animal was either pushed out due to herd politics or startled by a predator and broke through the fence.
Barber explained that the zebra’s mother had recently given birth to a new foal, which could have caused the mother to push away her yearling.
A team consisting of an exotic wildlife veterinarian, an exotic animal trapper, their respective assistants, Barber, and the ranch owner set out at daylight on July 18 to capture the zebra. By 7:30 a.m., the animal was loaded in a trailer and on its way back to the ranch.
The exotic wildlife vet administered a tranquilizer to sedate the animal, making capture and transportation easier.
According to Barber, the search and capture of the zebra was limited to the cool hours of the morning and evening. Stressing or tranquilizing an animal during the heat of the day could have been dangerous for its well-being.
To compound difficulties, a wildfire sprang up in Spicewood near the last known location of the zebra on Saturday, July 16. The fire scared the animal, and it had to be tracked and located again.
“It all worked out as well as it could have,” Barber said. “It was a very difficult capture.”
The zebra has since been moved to a new property and the break in the fence line has been repaired.