Last Escaped Zebra “Shug” Safely Captured After Week-long Adventure in Washington State

In a riveting conclusion to a week-long pursuit, the elusive zebra known as “Shug,” the final escapee of a quartet, was successfully corralled Friday night in a neighborhood near North Bend, Washington.

This dramatic capture marks the end of a captivating saga that captured the hearts and attention of people both locally and globally.

The thrilling tale began when the four zebras unexpectedly broke free on a journey from Winlock, Washington, to Anaconda, Montana. A trailer malfunction near North Bend triggered a heart-pounding chase as the zebras sprinted away, setting the stage for a desperate hunt to reclaim them.

While three were swiftly rounded up, Shug managed to evade capture and embarked on a daring escapade through the rugged terrain of the Cascade Mountains.

Shug’s six-day odyssey captivated residents’ imaginations and garnered international headlines. Sightings of the spirited mare became a regular occurrence, fueling a sense of urgency among those determined to see her safely returned.

Local heroes Dallas Clark, Hanna Morris, and Snoqualmie animal rescuer Susan Burk sprang into action, leading the search for the runaway zebra. With the help of Animal Control and a large animal vet, this dedicated group of community members spent countless hours over the next six days, tirelessly searching for Shug and ensuring her safety amidst the throngs of people eager for a glimpse.

Impeded by the constant foot traffic in the area, the group caught a break on Friday morning when King County finally closed key access points on the Snoqualmie Valley Trail near Boxley Creek Natural Area. Plans were put in place to rescue the animal.

Amidst the local search, a subplot unfolded with the arrival of an out-of-town group backed by a home contractor. This injected a dose of tension and controversy into the already high-stakes rescue operation.

Despite objections from Shug’s original rescue group and some property owners, who were concerned about the out-of-town group’s methods, this group persisted in its efforts, raising concerns about its motives.

In a statement posted by Dallas Clark, the local group said, “We are a group of locals that care about the zebra and have worked with her best interest in mind. We haven’t asked for money or media attention. Ultimately, we hope that she is safely captured and removed from this circus.”

Nevertheless, after several hours amidst the chaos, Shug was rescued. From private citizens to officers of the Regional Animal Services of King County (RASKC), a coalition of compassion worked tirelessly to secure Shug’s safe return.

Witnesses like Kelli Marek, who watched the entire rescue, recounted the meticulous and respectful approach taken during Shug’s capture, highlighting the professionalism and care exhibited by those involved.

Marek commented, The process I watched (from about 5:30-10:30 pm) looked well-coordinated, well-executed, and very respectful to the zebra. They were all taking care to make sure she was calm until she eventually walked herself into the horse trailer.”

North Bend’s Mayor Mary Miller, also on hand to watch the rescue, commented: “The four wayward zebras were embraced by our community the moment they jumped off the trailer at exit 32. I am honored to have had the opportunity to witness Sugar’s safe recovery this weekend,” said Mary Miller, mayor of North Bend. “Watching the coordinated effort to corral and secure the last remaining zebra was a quiet, calm, and very slow process. I am thrilled to be able to say firsthand that it was absolutely successful.”

As Shug prepares for her journey to Montana, attention shifts to her future and the ongoing investigation into the escape. Plans are underway to ensure Shug’s continued well-being until she can be safely transported to her intended destination.

As the curtain closes on Shug’s remarkable adventure, her story serves as a poignant reminder of the unwavering bond between humans and animals and the remarkable feats that can be achieved when communities unite in the name of compassion and rescue.

-Living Snoqualmie understands there is much controversy and confusion regarding what happened Friday night, why and how the second group was involved, allegations of misbehavior, and if the zebras will be safe and comfortable in their new home. We have sent public records requests to the King County Sheriff’s Office and Animal Control and contacted Shug’s owner and the group from Mt Vernon. This story will be updated if more information becomes available.

-Featured Image courtesy of Whitney Blomquist

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  • Too bad these zebra are going to live in a place that’s been described by locals in her neighborhood where horses and other animals are knee deep in feces. It was so nice to have such caring people looking for Shug, but where she’s ending up is very sad. And be sure, this owner knew it was a mare, not a stallion. Does anyone know who the seller is in Winlock, Wa? These are exotic animals, not ones to be kept on a small parcel. 7 acres for Zebra is small especially considering they won’t have that due to other animals on the property. There is no petting zoo for zebra, they can bite and kick, so that’s ridiculous.

  • Living Snoqualmie