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Zebras On The Lam Are Dazzling Suburban Maryland

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

While many DC reporters are focused on the White House or Capitol Hill, news of a different stripe has been grabbing attention.

LEILA FADEL, HOST:

Five zebras are on the loose in the D.C. suburbs in Prince George's County, Md.

CORNISH: The dazzle - that's what you call a group of zebras, by the way - were owned legally and escaped from a farm in the area. And for the last month, they've been dazzling residents with surprise sightings.

DAVON BENNETT: I look over. I see, like, three zebras right here. And I'm like, are my eyes playing tricks on me? Do I have my glasses off?

CORNISH: That's Davon Bennett talking to local Fox 5 after the zebras showed up in his backyard.

FADEL: They've been seen running across roads and bounding out of woods.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

KEITH TURNER: Got a video this morning of the zebras. Them bad boys ran right across the street.

FADEL: Keith Turner caught a cameo on his phone.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

TURNER: I'm getting kind of close to them. They running. They running. They running.

CORNISH: County animal services - well, they're aware of the situation. But catching a zebra is tricky. I mean, they spook easily.

FADEL: As for who might have helped the zebras escape?

ELEANOR HOLMES NORTON: Hands up - I didn't do it.

FADEL: D.C.'s Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton has been jokingly accused. She's been very anti-fence, wanting to remove barriers put up around D.C. after the January 6 attacks. And while she swears she didn't do it, Norton thinks maybe she inspired them.

HOLMES NORTON: And they said, look; if she can get those fences down, we don't want to be fenced in either.

CORNISH: For Norton and many others in D.C., the zebras have become a metaphor for D.C. statehood.

HOLMES NORTON: I represent a city where there is no consent of the governed. And the zebras say, guess what? There's no consent to keep us caged in, either.

CORNISH: You hear that, America? Norton says Washington, D.C., is ready to be a state. Just ask the zebras - that's if they ever get caught.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "DON'T FENCE ME IN")

BING CROSBY AND THE ANDREWS SISTERS: (Singing) Oh, give me land, lots of land, under starry skies above. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Justine Kenin
Justine Kenin is an editor on All Things Considered. She joined NPR in 1999 as an intern. Nothing makes her happier than getting a book in the right reader's hands – most especially her own.

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