Zebra Shot And Killed After Escaping Circus And Causing Motorway Chaos In Germany

A second zebra, which also escaped, is believed to have been returned to the circus.
A runaway zikus zebra stands on a field while a man with a stun gun tries to approach the animal in Thelkow, eastern Germany, Wednesday, Oct.2, 2019. The zebra had broken out of a circus in Ticino with a fellow zebra that had already been captured and had caused a rear-end collision on the A20 motorway. (Bernd Wuestneck/dpa via AP)
A runaway zikus zebra stands on a field while a man with a stun gun tries to approach the animal in Thelkow, eastern Germany, Wednesday, Oct.2, 2019. The zebra had broken out of a circus in Ticino with a fellow zebra that had already been captured and had caused a rear-end collision on the A20 motorway. (Bernd Wuestneck/dpa via AP)
ASSOCIATED PRESS

A zebra has been shot dead in Germany after escaping from a circus and causing a crash on a nearby motorway.

Officers from Rostock, in the north of the country, said the zebra had disrupted traffic, damaged cars and caused an accident on the A20 motorway before it was killed by police.

A second zebra, which had also escaped from the circus, was captured.

It’s not yet clear how the animals managed to make it out of their enclosures, but police told Deutsche Welle that the zebra that was tragically killed had fled in the wrong direction along the motorway.

Nobody was injured during the incident, in which one car braked suddenly to avoid the animal, causing another car to crash into the vehicle.

A zebra walks next to a police car on the A20 motorway on October 2, 2019 near the village of Tessin, north-eastern Germany, after the animal had broken out of a circus with a fellow animal, and had caused an accident on in the area. - The motorway had to be blocked for a while. The other zebra had already been captured. (Photo by Tilo WALLRODT / DPA / AFP) / Germany OUT (Photo by TILO WALLRODT/DPA/AFP via Getty Images)
A zebra walks next to a police car on the A20 motorway on October 2, 2019 near the village of Tessin, north-eastern Germany, after the animal had broken out of a circus with a fellow animal, and had caused an accident on in the area. - The motorway had to be blocked for a while. The other zebra had already been captured. (Photo by Tilo WALLRODT / DPA / AFP) / Germany OUT (Photo by TILO WALLRODT/DPA/AFP via Getty Images)
TILO WALLRODT via Getty Images

The major road was closed as police dealt with the incident.

The news has prompted outcry from animal welfare campaigners, some of whom have called for an EU-wide ban on the use of wild animals in circuses.

A spokesperson for AAP Animal Advocacy described the incident as a “tragedy”, writing: “Wherever there is a circus with wild animals, whenever they are in transit, animals suffer and citizens are at risk.”

Details of the shooting were not made public, but it is believed that the second zebra was returned to the circus.