Prince George’s Co. zebra owner issued citations after USDA inspection

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has issued five citations to the owner of the zebras that captured Prince George’s County residents’ attention after they escaped this fall.

Inspectors found that Jerry L. Holly failed to meet standards during a routine inspection Sept. 20, just weeks after the zebras escaped.



The report, released Wednesday, said that at the time of the inspection, one person was caring for 36 zebras.

Gloria McFadden, with the USDA Animal and Plant Inspection Service, said in the report that the person caring for the animals had “no experience or adequate knowledge of the species,” following the snare trap death of one of the zebras just outside of the property.

Snare traps are illegal in the county, and officials have since started an investigation into who set the trap.

Holly’s business has since accrued more than 100 violations throughout the course of its existence, with repeat offenses regarding acquisition documents.

WTOP has contacted the department for comment on Holly’s violations and citations.

Those citations included missing documents for various animals, including the 39 zebras held on the property, and the handling of those animals.

The department also said that outdoor facilities did not include heat sources, and rot allowed cold air into the barn that animals lived in. There were also hazardous items, including equipment and sanitation items, stored in the barn.

In October, animal cruelty charges were filed against Holly in district court.

Charging documents alleged that Holly did not care for the zebras, and all charges related to the three zebras that escaped on Aug. 26.

WTOP’s Michelle Basch and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

Ivy Lyons

Ivy Lyons is a digital journalist for WTOP.com. Since 2018, they have worked on Capitol Hill, at NBC News in Washington, and with WJLA in Washington.

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