Tuesday, October 16, 2018
Bizarre News

Florida alert: Escaped zebra crashes into truck in Wimauma, flees scene (w/video)

WIMAUMA — A 21-year-old driver was "a little banged up, but mainly just really surprised" after a zebra slammed into his pickup truck Friday, his sister said.

The hit-and-run crash happened about 2 p.m. at the intersection of County Road 672 and Amber Sweet Lane, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.

The zebra was strolling along the side the road, deputies said, when it suddenly made a beeline for a Ford F-150 pickup driven by Nathaniel Jolley, 21, of Riverview.

The truck's side-view mirror broke, striking Jolley with glass shards.

The zebra sprinted into a nearby field. It took a Sheriff's Office helicopter nearly 2 hours to find it.

Deputies said they managed to safely corral the animal with help from employees of its owner, licensed animal exhibitor and fourth-generation circus performer Jennifer Caudill, 35.

The zebra was safely returned to its enclosure on Andrews Road, deputies said. Jolley was treated for minor cuts and bruises at Brandon Regional Hospital. He was "pretty calm, all things considered," his sister Kelsey said.

It wasn't the first time a zebra has escaped from Caudill's care.

In November 2015, Caudill and her employees "lost control" of two male zebras while dismantling their enclosure as they prepared to leave for a show in Philadelphia, according to a report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

One of the zebras was quickly captured. But it took about two hours to find the second, which had wandered about 2 miles away.

Caudill earned her animal welfare act exhibitor's license from the USDA in 2009. In September 2010, though, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services division asked a federal judge to revoke Caudill's license after she was deemed "unqualified" to care for 37 tigers she purchased from another exhibitor.

She was allowed to retain her license after a court found those claims to be unfounded. Yet a 2014 inspection for Caudill's license renewal found that the travel trailer she used to transport dogs lacked a heater or air conditioner, records show.

Caudill was given 90 days to make the necessary changes to "provide for their health and well-being," the inspection report said. The results of the followup inspection were not available Friday. She could not be reached for comment.

Contact Anastasia Dawson at [email protected] or (813) 226-3377. Follow @adawsonwrites.

Comments
Archaeologists find 'vampire burial' site of a child feared capable of rising from the dead

Archaeologists find 'vampire burial' site of a child feared capable of rising from the dead

Inside a miniature tomb, in the middle of what used to be a sprawling Roman villa, is the skeleton of a 10-year-old child who died more than 1,500 years ago. It is on its side, its mouth agape and stuffed with a limestone rock about the size of a big...
Published: 10/15/18
Nacho Cheese or Cool Ranch? Doritos lure rogue pig back home

Nacho Cheese or Cool Ranch? Doritos lure rogue pig back home

Deputies in California have used Doritos to lure a pig "the size of a mini horse" back home.
Published: 10/15/18
Woman with ‘emotional support squirrel’ removed from plane at Orlando airport

Woman with ‘emotional support squirrel’ removed from plane at Orlando airport

Police at a Florida airport removed a passenger who refused to get off a Cleveland-bound flight after she was found carrying an "emotional support squirrel."Passengers had already boarded Frontier Airlines Flight 1612 at Orlando International Airport...
Published: 10/10/18
A gecko - no kidding - placed phone calls from a marine-mammal hospital

A gecko - no kidding - placed phone calls from a marine-mammal hospital

Veterinarian and seal expert Claire Simeone was just about to settle down and enjoy her lunch when her cellphone rang.Work was calling, and as director of the Marine Mammal Center's Ke Kai Ola Hawaiian Monk Seal Hospital in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, Simeo...
Published: 10/09/18
Maintenance worker finds skeletal remains at Gibsonton mobile home park

Maintenance worker finds skeletal remains at Gibsonton mobile home park

A maintenance worker uncovered skeletal remains Wednesday morning while working at a mobile home park in Gibsonton.The remains were located at the Bull Frog Creek Mobile Home Park, 11211 East Bay Road, around 8:45 a.m. Detectives are still waiting fo...
Published: 10/03/18
A slippery slap to the face: The instant legend of a kayaker, seal and octopus

A slippery slap to the face: The instant legend of a kayaker, seal and octopus

In the azure waters off the coast of New Zealand, a primal scene was unfolding.A seal had an octopus in its teeth, the eight-limbed mollusk flailing, fighting for its life. Then, a kayaker - bright yellow watercraft and life vest, cap, sunglasses and...
Updated one month ago
Weight Watchers slims its name down to WW

Weight Watchers slims its name down to WW

Weight Watchers is its dropping its brand name in exchange for something slimmer: "WW." The company says the new logo - coupled with the tagline "Wellness that Works" -- puts an emphasis on overall health and well being, with less...
Updated one month ago
This is what happens to a shy octopus on ecstasy

This is what happens to a shy octopus on ecstasy

If you give an octopus MDMA, it will get touchy and want to mingle.What sounds like the premise of a children's book set at Burning Man is, in fact, the conclusion of a study published Thursday in the journal Current Biology. Neuroscientist Gül ...
Updated one month ago
A Las Vegas professor shot himself on his campus to protest Trump, police say

A Las Vegas professor shot himself on his campus to protest Trump, police say

Before pulling the trigger, the professor was thoughtful.Mark J. Bird had been at the College of Southern Nevada for more than two decades in the department of human behavior. He had a feel for the rhythms of the school day, the timetables of when st...
Updated one month ago
Texas grandma kills 12-foot gator, says she’s finally avenged her miniature horse

Texas grandma kills 12-foot gator, says she’s finally avenged her miniature horse

A Texas great-grandmother thinks she’s finally gotten revenge on the massive alligator that ate her miniature horse a few years ago.It took just one shot for Judy Cochran to dispatch the 12-foot, 580-pound gator at her ranch Sunday in Goodrich...
Updated one month ago