Zebras on the Loose: High-Spirited Escape in Quiet Washington Town


In a quiet Washington town known as North Bend, an unusual commotion emerged from the otherwise normal hum of the Sunday morning routine. Four zebras, evoking images of the African wilderness in stark contrast to the American Northwestern setting, made a hasty prison break from their trailer, choosing freedom, if only momentarily, on the lush green edges of town.

Three zebras, their avatars of black-and-white fur conspicuously out of place, were rapidly subdued but the saga of the fourth, a zebra yet on the loose, hung like an unresolved melody note in the story of the unpredictable event. Rick Johnson, an officer of the Washington State Patrol, left the fate of the fourth zebra shrouded in mystery for the residents and spectators alike, as Monday dawned with no recent sighting.

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It was during the routine passage of cargo from Washington to Montana when the unexpected occurred. Taking the Interstate 90 exit for North Bend, located roughly a 30-mile drive southeast from Seattle, the driver pulled over to ensure the trailer was secure. It was then – amid the monotonous drone of the highway beyond – the zebras, sensing an opportunity, made a dash for freedom.

Witnesses could not believe their eyes. Dan Barnett domiciled in North Bend watched in awe and disbelief as the zebras munched on grass, ignoring the prevailing speed and panic of their ordeal. Kind-hearted citizens, startled but compassionate, helped corral the zebras from the bustling interstate. makeshift obstructions were created, repurposing offramp traffic as a barrier against the zebras’ possible incursion onto the freeway.

Then, the suburban safari took the zebras through town, trotting past diners enjoying a lazy Sunday brunch at a restaurant nearby the interstate exit. Before the dust even settled, three of them found an unexpected sanctuary in the backyard of one, Whitney Blomquist.

In a tone laced with both confusion and awe, Blomquist shared, “I called someone and was like, ‘So I found the missing zebras, they’re in my yard. Yeah – quite unsure what to do next…’”

The zebras’ brief taste of freedom ended as they were cleverly guided to a neighboring yard. With the help of rodeo professionals, two were captured. The third, the youngest of the herd, escaped sight momentarily only to be captured later, ending the saga of the zebras’ unexpected romp through North Bend with a touch of unprecedented bitternessweet.