A runaway zebra which wreaked havoc on a Japanese golf course died after being shot by a tranquiliser dart.

The two-year-old male zebra plunged into a lake, and is believed to have drowned following an unsuccessful attempt to resuscitate it.

The animal, which escaped from a local horse riding club, was shown being chased from hole to hole by a dozen men – including police officers – in TV news footage.

However, the men failed to capture the animal, which was on the loose for several hours at the golf course in Toki, Gifu, and resorted to the use of a tranquiliser gun.

The sedated animal ran into a lake on the course, and despite being rescued within minutes it died.

Takahiro Taniguchi, of Tajimi police in Gifu, said: “We pulled it out, but its heart had stopped.”