Zebra – yes, a zebra – captured after escape in Cookeville

'It escaped a truck, was tased, and is mad.'
Posted at 8:36 AM, May 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-07 19:59:17-04

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A zebra was captured after it escaped from a livestock auction in Cookeville, prompting an elementary school to issue a warning to parents on social media.

The zebra escaped from the Triple W Alternative Livestock Auction on West Cemetery Road Friday. Cookeville Police officers and Putnam County deputies were called to help auction employees try to capture it.

It even made its way onto Highway 111, but police officials say there was little traffic on the road at the time and it was not injured.


"...the lack of traffic at that time of day allowed officers to attempt multiple methods of regaining control of the animal in an effort to minimize injury to the zebra, the motoring public, and everyone on scene," the Cookeville Police Department said in a press release.

Two officers unsuccessfully tried to tase the zebra, which according to school officials agitated the animal.

Prescott South Elementary School wrote in a post Friday morning: “Good morning Prescott Families—There is a zebra on the loose in the Prescott area. It escaped a truck, was tased, and is mad. Do not approach. (Yes, really.)”

Eventually, the zebra was cornered into a transport trailer around 7:15 a.m.

Ashley Francis was able to snap some photos of the animal while heading towards Prescott. The school later posted an update, informing parents and the public the zebra had been captured.


The owner of Triple W wants to be clear, the Zebra didn't escape from their custody. It belonged to someone parked at their facility. "About six o’clock this morning, the police came and they said they spotted a zebra over by a tractor supply store," said Scotty Wilson, Owner of Triple W.

The auction company holds an exotic animal sale four times a year, attracting customers from 25 different states. "We’ve been here since 1991. We started the exotic sale in 2006," said Wilson.

The odds of finding what you're looking for are good, because the goods are odd. They sell everything from birds to bison; animals of all colors and stripes. "Selling monkeys, all the stuff in the warm room, the foxes," said Wilson. "Most every town has a cow sale, but very few have a peacock sale."

Almost fittingly, in a place where the unexpected is for sale, they got more than they bargained for. "I’m glad they got him caught," said Wilson.

The Cookeville Police Department is asking for anyone with relevant information in this case to give them a call.