Being cooped up in an enclosure all the time, it’s not surprising that some zoo animals may want to try to escape to get a taste of freedom.
The latest zoo escapee — a zebra — broke the Internet after it wandered about the streets of Seoul for almost three hours.
The appearance of Sero the zebra amidst the concrete jungle left Seoulites shocked and amused, as he even crossed a road at one point.
Thankfully, authorities managed to tranquillize Sero and safely return him to the zoo.
According to Korea JoongAng Daily, Sero escaped from Seoul Children’s Grand Park zoo at around 2.40pm yesterday (23 Mar).
Zoo authorities reported his escape to the fire rescue department at 2.43pm.
Sero, a two-year-old male zebra whose name translates to ‘vertical’, apparently escaped his enclosure after breaking down wooden fences around it.
He trotted into the urban area and later entered a residential area during his escapade.
Multiple passers-by spotted Sero galloping down the streets.
Meanwhile, CCTV footage of a resident strolling out of his house before immediately retreating upon spotting Sero from a distance was widely circulated.
Some netizens also spotted Sero interlacing between vehicles on the road.
Talk about a zebra crossing!
Sero’s adventure only came to an end almost three hours after he broke free from the zoo.
Korea JoongAng Daily reported that authorities managed to surround the zebra with safety fences and nets.
They then shot him with two tranquiliser darts at 4.40pm. It reportedly took six tranquiliser shots to finally take down the animal.
Authorities then promptly returned him to the zoo by about 6pm.
Officials covered the zebra in a grey blanket, and six people held it down in the back of a truck.
Thankfully, despite Sero’s wild adventure, there were no reported casualties. Sero also did not cause any property damage.
The Korea Herald quoted a zoo representative who said that the park will thoroughly investigate the incident to prevent future escapes. Veterinarians and zookeepers will also take measures to ensure the zebra’s health.
Heartbreakingly, it was revealed that Sero became agitated and rebellious after his parents died earlier this year.
According to The Korea Herald, a YouTube video uploaded in January by Seoul Facilities Corp shared that Sero was raised by loving parents and had a close relationship with them.
After his parents’ passing, however, Sero refused to go back into his barn and even fought with a neighbouring kangaroo.
Sero allegedly also became aggressive towards zookeepers and the officials who tried to calm him down with toys and snacks.
That said, we’re glad Sero did not come into harm’s way in his adventure, and we hope he enjoyed his short break of freedom.
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Featured image adapted from @nexiankorea on Twitter and Yonhap News Agency.
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