Owner of escaped Md. zebras agrees to forfeit animals

The man who owned the three zebras that escaped and ran loose for weeks in Prince George’s County in 2021, has made an agreement with the USDA that requires him to forfeit his animals.

Jerry Holly, who owned the zebras, has agreed to sell, donate, or transfer ownership of all of the animals on his property by mid-February.

The three zebras in question escaped from his farm and ran around the Croom section of Upper Marlboro, Maryland, during fall 2021. One of the zebras was caught in an illegal trap and died. The other two were loose for more than 50 days.

Prince George’s County Animal Services Chief Rodney Taylor said the herd had been moved to Maryland from Florida before the incident.

About 40 zebras, among other wildlife, lived at Holly’s property along Duley Station Road. According to National Public Radio, Holly also “owned large cats, primates, giraffes, and bears, among other animals” as part of a larger exotic animals breeding business.

The agreement states that all animals must be removed within 12 weeks from when the document was signed, which was in late November.

He can still have animals for “his own personal use and enjoyment,” depending on the bylaws of where he is living.

Holly was charged criminally with three misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty, but in a bench trial in late October, a judge found Holly not guilty on all three charges.

Valerie Bonk

Valerie Bonk started working at WTOP in 2016 and has lived in Howard County, Maryland, her entire life. She's thrilled to be a reporter for WTOP telling stories on air. She works as both a television and radio reporter in the Maryland and D.C. areas. 

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