What's black and white and roaming the greater Washington, D.C., area? Zebras.
"As if 2021 can't get even more crazier, a pack of zebras were spotted in a Maryland county," the National Park Service of Chesapeake Bay tweeted out earlier this week.
The group of five zebras, referred to as a dazzle, have been on the loose in Maryland for over a week now. The zebras escaped from a farm near Upper Marlboro, Maryland, late last month, Chief Rodney Taylor with Prince George's County Animal Services Division told Washington ABC affiliate WJLA.
The farm has had exotic animals on and off for 15 years, Taylor told WJLA. Animal Services has received multiple calls that the quadrupeds were spotted roaming and grazing on the majestic plains of rural Maryland. The farm is working to lure the zebras back with feeding stations, where they hope they will be able to corral the zebras without spooking them.
The zebras are not dangerous unless you approach them, according to Taylor.
Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-Washington, D.C., inserted herself into the bizarre story by releasing a statement Friday denying responsibility for letting the zebras loose. Her office later clarified it was a joke. Holmes Norton said in jest that she had a "solid alibi" proving she did not release the zebras.
She is known locally as an advocate for consent of being governed -- as she continues fighting for D.C. statehood -- and joked in the statement that she opposes unnecessary fences.
"Local news has reported that the zebras were let loose on Saturday or Sunday of last weekend, a period of time during which I was enjoying quiet time at home with family," Norton said. "My alibi is solid, but given my career of fighting for statehood for the District, which includes years of explaining the importance of having consent of the governed, and given my recent opposition to fences, I can understand why the charge was made. I hope the owners find the zebras and that all involved live long, full lives."
The country requests that anyone with information about the whereabouts of the zebras contact Prince George's County Animal Control Services at 301-780-7200.