SEYMOUR, Tenn. (WVLT/Gray News) – The sheriff’s office in Blount County, Tenn., said they have received four reports of zebra bites at a privately-owned farm with exotic animals in Seymour.
According to a spokesperson with the sheriff’s office, a 26-year-old man was treated at the Blount Memorial Hospital (BMH) for a bite on his hand. Two females were bitten on Tuesday and went to the hospital for medical treatment.
A fourth victim was bitten Wednesday on her right bicep. The victim was taken by ambulance to BMH where she received treatment.
Michaela Napier said the zebra attacked her from behind while she was trying to take a picture with the animal.
“It picked me up, slammed me down. It picked me up, slammed me down. It was almost like a tea bag,” Napier told WVLT.
She said it was a traumatic experience that left her with a bloody wound on her back.
“I’m not exaggerating when I say I thought it was going to kill me,” she said.
The zebra’s owner, Bobby White, said he’s never had an issue with people admiring his animals. He said he thought people would be cautious if they visited.
A spokesperson with the sheriff’s office said an employee is investigating the case.
WVLT News crews saw a sign posted near the zebra’s enclosure on private property with a warning saying, “Please do not feed or pet the animals. Keep back from fences.”
Neighbors said the warning sign is new.
The investigation is ongoing.
Tennessee classifies zebras as a class III animal alongside horses and donkeys. This class does not require a permit by the Department of Agriculture.