Authorities in Prince George County, Maryland, told The Washington Post on Thursday that one of three zebras from the group that escaped from a farm in upper Malboro had been found dead.
It was previously thought that five zebras escaped from the farm, which is privately owned.
The zebra was killed in an illegal snare trap and died on 16 September, authorities said. Two other zebras remain on the loose and are thought to still be in the upper Malboro area.
A spokesperson for the state’s Natural Resources Police, Lauren Moses, said it was unclear who set the trap, which was on private property.
The illegal devices are usually for capturing smaller animals, and are banned in both Prince George County and Maryland.
Maryland Zebras, a Twitter account impersonating an escaped Maryland zebra, tweeted that it was “heartbreaking” to hear of the zebra’s death in an illegal snare trap.
“Heartbreaking news,” Maryland Zebras tweeted. “These types of snare traps are illegal under both county and state law.”
Wildlife experts toldThe Post last weekthat it was likely the zebras were living off the land, and surviving by finding shelter in woodland.
Zebras are known for being easily frightened by noise and are at risk of running away.
Rodney Taylor, who runs the animal control agency for Prince George County, also said his team were “very close” to capturing the zebras and that they were slowly being enticed toward the farm.
“If you have five zebras that get frightened at the same time and take off, and then they’re running flat-out into the highways — that could create a public hazard,” said Mr Taylor.
The owner of the zebras, Jerry Holly, has meanwhile refused to respond to requests from comment from The Post, it was reported.
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