Zebras and Bears, Oh My! Florida Homeowners Find Surprising Visitors in Their Backyards


While a full 64% of homeowners are choosing to upgrade their backyard, some homeowners in Florida are finding a little bit more than they bargained for on their own property.

Instead, these “upgrades” are coming in the form of zebras and bears.

Earlier this month, a zebra ran into a backyard in Wimauma, startling and injuring the homeowner in the process. The homeowner, Mark Ross, was letting out his dogs when he noticed the zebra frolicking around his backyard. Ross explained to Fox 13 News that the zebra was grazing by his RV, but when he heard a commotion he darted immediately to Ross, almost knocking him over.

Then, the zebra went running around the neighborhood, seemingly looking for a safe space to hide. Ross called the police, who came to the scene within minutes, but they were no help in catching the fast zoo animal. In the midst of the chase, the zebra ran into a Ford F150 truck, smashing the side mirror and causing a huge dent in the side of the vehicle.

Because the cops weren’t too helpful, the sheriff’s aviation force was called in to corral the animal. At last, the zebra was caught and given back to their owner. In a weird twist, this wasn’t the first time the zebra had escaped, as the owner has a traveling circus and thus has a lot of animals in his possession at one time.

But the zebra wasn’t the only interesting animal found in a Florida backyard recently. On May 22, a Winter Haven homeowner noticed something brown and furry in his backyard, climbing up his tree. While the authorities believed the bear was just scared and not dangerous, they decided to use tranquilizers to get the bear to fall from the tree.

Fire officials explain to NBC4i that wildlife are attracted to homes as an easy food source. They recommend that all homeowners keep their garbage and pet food hidden and out of sight to prevent these critters from making any surprising visits!