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Public urged to steer clear of escaped zebra in Washington

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May 3 (UPI) -- Officials in a Washington county are asking members of the public to steer clear of the area where a zebra remains on the loose.

The zebra was one of four to escape from a trailer Sunday on Interstate 90, near North Bend in King County.

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Three of the African equines were corralled and returned to their owner, but one remains on the loose. The zebra was initially reported to be male, but county officials said they have identified the missing animal as a mare named Z.

King County Councilmember Sarah Perry urged members of the public not to go looking for the zebra along the Snoqualmie Valley Regional Trail, which has seen an influx in visitors since the animal's escape.

"Please join us in partnership as we work to rescue our sweet zebra by giving our rescuers all the space they need to rescue her. She is in an area where there are feeding zones to coax her out for a rescue, but every time a well-intended walker, bicycle, or unleashed 'search dog' comes near her it makes rescuing her so much more difficult," Perry wrote on Facebook.

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Eleanor Lee, a spokesperson for the King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks, said "trail closed" signs would be posted on the trail along the the Boxley Creek Natural Area on Friday to allow professionals to track the zebra without amateur interference.

Anyone who spots the loose zebra is being urged to keep a distance and call 911 or contact the Regional Animal Services of King County.

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