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VERIFY: Yes, the Zebras on the loose in Maryland can survive & thrive in cold weather

A couple of Zebras escaped from a local zoo and with colder weather heading out way, viewers are curious about their survival

MARYLAND, USA — Several weeks ago five Zebras escaped from a herd of 39 zebras that were moved onto the historic Bellefields Farm off nearby Duley Station Road.

Animal control workers in Prince George's County said they have successfully lured some loose zebras to an enclosure, but the ordeal isn't over yet.

According to Chief Rodney Taylor with Prince George's County Animal Control, three zebras have been on the loose for weeks now.. They are believed to be near the area of Croom Road and Duley Station Road in Upper Marlboro. 

THE QUESTION

Can the Zebras handle cold weather and what are they doing for food?

THE ANSWER

Yes, Zebras can survive the wintry season and the striped animals are herbivores, so they even have the ability to thrive.

THE SOURCE

Dr. Michael Erskine, the Director of Virginia Tech's Equine Medical Center

Dan Rubenstein, a Zoology Professor at Princeton University

THE PROCESS

Our experts say Zebras are hearty wild animals, and while they're a tropical member of the horse family that usually thrives in hot climates, they can survive cold weather too.

In fact, Rubenstein says some zebras live in the slopes of Mount Kenya at an elevation of 15,000 feet where it gets very cold, especially at night.

Rubenstein says if they can shelter or find trees to help them escape cold rain and wind, that would be great; but without it, they should still be just fine.

As for food, Dr. Erskine says the Zebras can happily thrive on grassy lawns and meadows

He says they can get the freshwater they need from ponds or streams.

According to the Animal Legal and Historical Center at Michigan State University, there are several breeds of animals that are illegal to own in the state of Maryland. Animals listed include foxes, skunks, raccoons, bears and others. However, zebras are not one of them. Click here to read the full list.

Anyone with information on the zebras is asked to call Prince George's County Animal Control.

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