Ohio 911 Call: 'His Arm Had Been Bitten Off by a Zebra'

Ronald Clifton, 72, likely won't lose his right arm after all
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 14, 2023 2:25 PM CDT
Ohio 911 Call: 'His Arm Had Been Bitten Off by a Zebra'
A zebra (not the one pictured) that deputies described as aggressive bit a man's arm in Ohio on Sunday.   (Getty Images / Bob Didner)

The 911 call was worse than the reality, but the reality wasn't great: A Pickaway County Sheriff’s Office report quotes the Sunday call as requesting help for an Ohio man who had "his arm ... bitten off by a zebra." Deputies who arrived at the Circleville home encountered what they said was a "hostile" zebra who charged a patrol vehicle. CNN reports a deputy used sirens and an air horn to get the zebra to retreat, providing time to get a tourniquet on the man's right arm and load him into an ambulance. The Columbus Dispatch identifies the man as Ronald Clifton, 72 and the owner of the zebra.

Per the report, the zebra ultimately started walking back toward the deputies in what they described as a hostile manner, and family members on the scene said it had been aggressive in the past and that the the zebra could be put down if needed ("shoot the dumb [expletive] if you have to," the Dispatch quotes Clifton's son-in-law as saying). The animal was eventually shot by a deputy who yelled at the animal but said the "zebra didn’t slow down and kept coming at me."

The report speculates the zebra's aggression may have been a protective stance, as a group of female zebras were present; under Ohio Department of Agriculture rules, they may be kept as pets. NBC4 reports Clifton, who is hospitalized in fair condition, will not lose his arm. (More animal attack stories.)

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