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Two zebras who escaped from a Maryland farm are back after months on the run

Zebras are seen at the La Ponderosa Adventure Park in Guanacaste, Costa Rica.
Ezequiel Becerra
AFP/Getty Images
Zebras are seen at the La Ponderosa Adventure Park in Guanacaste, Costa Rica.

Two Maryland zebras that escaped a farm in mid-August have returned to their herd.

In a statement obtained by NPR, the Prince George's County, Md., Department of the Environment says that the roaming zebras returned sometime last week, but officials gave no details on how and when the recovery took place.

The officials say neither the United States Department of Agriculture nor the Prince George's County animal services were involved in the return of the zebras.

Linda Lowe, spokesperson for Prince George's County Department of Environment, said county officials will continue their ongoing investigation and will take appropriate legal action regarding alleged violations by the zebras' owner.

In October, Jerry Holly, the owner of the zebras was charged with three counts of animal cruelty after one of three zebras that had escaped was reported to have been discovered dead in a snare trap.

Holly, the owner of an exotic animal breeding business in Upper Marlboro, Md., about 20 miles southeast of Washington, D.C., is accused of inflicting and authorizing "unnecessary suffering or pain on a Zebra," according to court documents obtained by NPR.

Holly was also charged with not providing adequate shelter or food.

The zebra that died was found on private property in Upper Marlboro on Sept. 16, according to Lauren Moses, spokesperson for the Maryland Natural Resources Police.

According to Moses, officers arrived at the property and discovered — in a snare trap near a field — a dead zebra, which officials believed was one of the zebras that had been on the loose.

An investigation by WAMU found that inspections of Holly's properties in Maryland and Florida had repeatedly turned up inadequate fencing.

In 2013, Holly was fined more than $12,000 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for violations of the Animal Welfare Act, including for dangerous animal enclosures.

After the three zebras escaped from Holly's legally owned herd on August 26, residents across the Washington, D.C., suburb posted photos and videos of their sightings.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Jonathan Franklin is a digital reporter on the News desk covering general assignment and breaking national news.