The Blount County Sheriff’s Office said Friday it now is investigating a total of four reports that a zebra at the private Brookhaven Animal Farm on I.C. King Road in Seymour has bitten people in the past two weeks.
Because of the ongoing investigation, not all of the reports are public records yet.
The most recent report was at 9:45 p.m. Wednesday, July 3, when Tiffany M. England, I.C. King Road, Seymour, said that while she was petting the animal, it bit her on the right bicep and began to pull her arm.
England had multiple punctures from the zebra’s front teeth and was taken by ambulance to Blount Memorial Hospital, according to the incident report.
Michaela R. Napier, Maple Ridge Lane, Seymour, said she was bitten July 2 while posing for a photo with a child in front of the fence enclosure with the zebra, The Daily Times reported July 4. She was treated at the University of Tennessee Medical Center.
Napier’s friend, Ashley L. Vila of Sevierville, said she had visited the animal previously and petted it without incident, but before they attempted to take the photo this week, the zebra had snapped at Napier when she tried to pet it.
Also on July 2, a 23-year-old woman was bitten on her upper arm and was treated for the wound at Blount Memorial Hospital, according to BCSO.
A BCSO spokeswoman said that on June 21 Blount Memorial reported that it had treated a 26-year-old man bitten on the hand by a zebra at Brookhaven Animal Farm.
The zebra’s owner, Bobby Ed White, Burnett Station Road, Seymour, told The Daily Times this week that the animal and others he owns are kept behind a fence on private property.
Although several people, including England, reported previously petting the unnamed zebra, a sign seen this week near the animals asks people to not pet or feed them.