Stripe Alert! Zebras Turn a Quiet Day Wild in North Bend

On Sunday, an extraordinary event unfolded near North Bend, Washington. A group of zebras unexpectedly detoured from their route, triggering a large-scale rescue operation.

The escapade began when a transport trailer carrying two adult female zebras, one adult male, and a baby stopped at exit 32 on Eastbound I-90 so the driver could secure a flapping floor mat. During this stop, the zebras managed to escape, setting off a surprising turn of events.

Washington State Patrol Trooper Rick Johnson captured the community’s immediate reaction on Twitter-“This is a first for me and all troopers involved,” he tweeted early in the afternoon, marking the beginning of an intense rescue effort.

Whitney Blomquist, living about 1.5 miles from the escape site on SE 160th St, was startled to see zebras on her security camera feed and called the police. Soon, her quiet street buzzed with the activity of animal control and police officers from multiple departments.

Blomquist says there were two animal control officers and five or six police officers from WSP, Snoqualmie Police, and KCSO present. Two zebras were eventually cornered in a corral at a horse barn down the road from her house, and the baby was caught in another location.

Photo credit: Whitney Blomquist

According to King County Animal Control Sergeant Rebecca Smokoska, who was present at the scene, among the rescuers was a bull handler dubbed the ‘rodeo clown’ by neighbors who was called in by the zebras’ owner from Montana to assist in the capture.

By late afternoon, Johnson updated the public that while three of the zebras had been safely recaptured, the adult male was still on the loose, sparking concerns for his well-being among the community and rescuers.

As the three recovered zebras continue their journey to Montana, the search for the missing zebra continues; local authorities urge anyone who spots the animal to contact 9-1-1 or animal control at 206-296-7387 immediately.

The community remains hopeful that the zebra will be found safe, underscoring a heartfelt response to an event that brought unexpected excitement to North Bend on a rainy Sunday.

[Featured image credit: Grace Luccio]

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  • Unusual events like this are rare and should be re-played on Living Snoqualmie at their 10, 25, 50, 75 and 100 year anniversaries. We will be fortunate to be blessed with an even this amazing, once a decade!

  • Living Snoqualmie