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16 February 2000 Issue
Zebra Love

Interesting animal story in our local paper today. A man has a farm in a rural area north of here where he keeps some exotic animals including a pair of zebras. (This would be central Wisconsin.) A neighbor woman got in the habit of visiting and feeding carrots and treats to zebras and the other animals.

Well, she was gone a few days, but when she came back for a visit she was met at the gate by the man's donkeys and one of the zebras, but not the other. The one who came (the female zebra) was very agitated and kept making this awful, distressed noise. The woman went in the barn to find the male, but he was nowhere to be seen. The female kept acting very agitated, trying to get her attention.

The woman ran outside, and the zebra came with her and started down a path. The woman ran down the path, and the zebra kept running ahead and looking back to be sure the woman was following. The zebra ran to the creek, which was mostly iced over, and started across. The woman didn't want to go out on the ice, which was sure to be unsafe, but then she saw the male zebra out there. He had fallen through and was trapped in ice about up to his chest. He'd been flailing around and cut himself on the ice, and was in desperate straits.

The woman got people to come, and they attached a rope to the zebra, which fortunately was wearing a harness. Somebody got on a cell phone and got a neighbor to come out with his truck, which had a winch. They managed to pull the zebra out and get him on solid ground -- he'd been mired in the mud of the creek bed, so pulling him out was doubly hard. He collapsed and was able to do nothing but shake, so they had to get a second truck out there that could lift him aboard. Then they drove back to the barn another way, which really distressed the female zebra.

They got a vet there who stayed with the zebra until he warmed up and stabilized, and he survived, much to the relief of the people and the female zebra, who got lots of appreciation for her role in the rescue.

What a good story about animals caring for each other, using their intelligence, and communicating with humans! Thought you might like it.

Source: sdurbin@tulsa.cc.ok.us  

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