Escaped Baby Zebra Terrorizes Staten Island (Video)

Many people do not like zoos for wild animals because they behind bars and do not have the freedom that they should. But zoos are usually highly regulated and many have redesigned the animals living space in as natural a setting as possible. Petting zoos on the other hand are not highly regulated and many of the wild animals suffer immensely being kept in small cages and under poor conditions. The animals are exposed more to the gawking humans and the safety of these petting zoos have not always been in the best interest for both animals and the public.

Recently, in Staten Island, New York, at a petting zoo owned by Giovanni Schirripa, a four month old Zebra named Paparazzi, and a 14-year-old pony named Casper made a break for it apparently sick of their petting zoo home. The escape was the first by the baby zebra, but it is Casper the pony's third attempt. 'Razzi' the baby zebra follows Casper everywhere which is to be expected.

It was actually the fault of owner, Giovanni Schirripa, who left the gate open after feeding them Wednesday morning. Casper, followed by Razzi, took off running down Victory Boulevard in Staten Island. The escape was witnessed by Zachary Osher who when looking out the window of his store, saw two hoofed animals trotting by. According to Mr. Osher, "They ran past me, and then they made a loop around the parking lot. I thought they were circus animals. They came around and they were galloping. The pony was in the lead, and the zebra was behind.”

Like any quick-thinking citizen, Mr. Osher grabbed his iPhone and ran out shouting. The unlikely pair dodged traffic on the busy street and soon exited the street, pursued by men in dark suits carrying lassos, according to Mr. Osher. The police, were quickly on the case. By 10 a.m., they had apprehended the animals a couple of blocks south of Mr. Osher’s store and returned them to Mr. Schirripa’s menagerie at Victory Boulevard and Travis Avenue.

After being returned, Razzi and Casper were back in their pen which is a fenced area behind the two-story house that Mr. Schirripa shares with his parents. Razzi and Casper stay in a barn that looks like it was once a single-car garage. Mr. Schirripa said he planned to move Razzi, the zebra to another property, in Phillipsburg, N.J., where he keeps several horses, after Christmas. He admits that taking care of Razzi is harder than he ever expected.

Razzi might have to move sooner than that because only zoos or petting zoos are allowed to keep zebras in New York City, according to the Health Department. While Mr. Schirripa said he had a permit for the zoo for a local Octoberfest exhibit, a health department spokeswoman, Chanel Caraway, said, “The Health Department has no record of a permit for a petting zoo at Mr. Schirripa’s address. Health inspectors are investigating and will make sure appropriate measures are taken once the circumstances are fully evaluated.”


Responses to "Baby Zebra escapes from a New York petting zoo and runs down a main street in Staten Island"

  1. Anonymous says:

    If I were in a petting zoo, having to tolerate all the strokes of strange people, uncoordinated kid touches, and all the food that is being offered which makes me really fat and tired, I would run away too!!!! ;-)

  2. Anonymous says:

    All wild animals should be running free in their own habitats!!!

  3. Phoenix says:

    I'm so glad the animals were not injured or worse, and I wish all petting zoos were limited to goats and sheep, who seem to be able to tolerate the attention well.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I agree.Domesticated animals cope with the human environment,wild animals don't.No wild animal should be kept in captivity.What purpose does it serve except for 'the entertainment' of human beings.How would a human like to be kept in captivity for life just for 'the entertainment' of and alien being.This chap is most likely charging a fee every time he puts them on show which is making money out of another creatures' misery.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Zoos are often about conservation. Human being are killing off species left and right.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Its like Madagascar all over again!

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