Runaway circus zebra shot dead in Germany
TESSIN, Germany - A zebra was shot dead Wednesday after escaping a German circus and causing an accident on a major motorway.
The animal was one of two zebras that had fled a circus near the northeastern town of Tessin early that morning. One was safely captured before dawn while the other disappeared for hours, police said.
The runaway zebra was spotted around 8 a.m. local time on the A20 motorway near the Tessin junction, where it disrupted traffic, damaged vehicles and caused an accident between two parallel cars. No one was hurt, but the highway had to be shut down while authorities tried to corral the animal.
The zebra then ran over the engine hood of a vehicle and fled the closed-off motorway. A patrol car was also damaged and a policeman was left with a minor injury.
The circus trainer responsible for handling the animal tried to restrain it in a nearby field but failed.
Authorities ultimately called in an emergency animal rescue unit, and the zebra was shot near the highway. The animal "died on the spot," according to the police press release.
The zebra's circus trainer, Angelo Madel, was in tears when speaking to German television channel RTL after the incident.
"A nightmare," he said, "there lies my child."
Madel, who has looked after the animal for years, said he feels betrayed.
"We wanted to catch it and had consulted with the police," he told RTL.
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