Escaped zebra captured near Seattle

SEATTLE – A zebra that has been roaming the foothills of western Washington for days was recaptured Friday evening, nearly a week after she escaped with three other zebras from a trailer near Seattle.

Local residents and animal control officers rounded up the zebra named “Shug” in the community of Riverbend, about 30 miles (48 kilometers) east of Seattle, King County Regional Animal Services wrote on its website.

“The zebra appeared to be in good condition, despite her nearly week-long adventure in the forest,” the agency wrote.

Shug was one of four zebras that escaped while being transported from Washington to Montana last Sunday. The driver had taken the Interstate 90 exit for North Bend, in the foothills of Cascade Mountain, about 30 miles (48 kilometers) east of Seattle, to secure the trailer when the animals got loose — surprising residents and drivers as they entered a rural neighborhood galloped in. .

Three were quickly captured after being locked in a pasture. But the fourth – a mare initially named ‘Z’ – jumped a fence and disappeared. Shug’s adventure quickly captured public attention and spawned social media memes that placed the animal everywhere from riding a ferry across Puget Sound to rounding the bases at T-Mobile Park, home of the Seattle Mariners.

But there were more credible sightings elsewhere: Some area residents spotted Shug on their trail cameras, raising some concern because the cameras also recently captured cougars in the area.

Earlier Friday, King County officials closed access points along the Snoqualmie Valley Trail in the Boxley Creek Natural Area, where the zebra seemed to frequent. People who tried to see the zebra there may have scared it, making it harder to recapture it, they said. Feeding areas were set up to lure the animal out for rescue.

Owner Kristine Keltgen previously told The Seattle Times that she bought the zebras in Lewis County, Washington, and brought them to a petting zoo she runs near Anaconda, in southwestern Montana. She was about two hours into the trip when she noticed one of the caravan’s floor mats flapping and dragging behind her. When she opened the door to adjust the mat, the zebras ran out. Several people stopped to help round up the animals, including a rodeo clown and horse trainers, but Shug had managed to evade these attempts.

Shug will now be transported to Montana to join the rest of the blinding or group of zebras, King County Regional Animal Services said.