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Blount County sheriff investigating reports of biting zebra

July 6, 2019

SEYMOUR, Tenn. (AP) — The Blount County Sheriff’s office is investigating reports that a zebra at a privately owned farm in Seymour has bitten four people.

The Knoxville News Sentinel reports three women went to local hospitals this week after they were bitten. Two women received bites to their arms and a third was bitten on the back. A fourth bite was from June 21, when a hospital treated a man for a bite to his hand.

Blount County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Marian O’Briant said the investigation is ongoing.

Farm owner Bobby Ed White told the Maryville newspaper The Daily Times that the zebra and other animals he owns are kept behind a fence on private property.

Eric and Alice Morrison said they have been White’s neighbor for nearly 15 years and never had any problem with his animals.

Speaking of the zebra, Eric Morrison said. “It’s not a domesticated animal. ... And you should treat it with respect and caution.”

Morrison said the injuries are likely from people driving by and trying to take pictures with the animals, and he compared it to tourists who try to photograph black bear cubs in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

“People just think for whatever reason, because it’s out there and it’s accessible, that they can go and pet it or take a picture and get close when they ought to treat it with respect,” he said.

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Information from: Knoxville News Sentinel, http://www.knoxnews.com

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