SEYMOUR, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Blount County Sheriff's Office said they have received four reports of zebra bites at a privately-owned farm with exotic animals in Seymour.
Four people have reportedly been bitten by a Zebra in Seymour. /Source:(WVLT)
WVLT News learned that one of the bite victims is an intern at the Blount County Sheriff's Office.
The intern, Vishaka Motheramgarl was bitten by the zebra while she was on the property with a detective on July 2. According to the Sheriff's Office, the two were responding to a call in the area but were not called to the property with the zebra's enclosure.
According to records, the detective said they had previously obtained permission from the farm's owner to be on the property outside the fence.
"Investigator Folmar and the intern were on the property with the owner's permission," said BCSO spokesperson Marion O'Briant. "The investigator worked a previous case with him (nothing to do with any animal problem). They were in the area on a follow-up and stopped by the farm. They were NOT on the property to investigate any incident that day."
BCSO said no criminal charges will be filed by any of the bite victims in relation to the incidents.
According to a spokesperson with the sheriff's office, a 26-year-old man was treated at the Blount Memorial Hospital for a bite on his hand. Two females were bitten on Tuesday and went to the hospital for medical treatment.
A fourth victim was bitten Wednesday on her right bicep. The victim was taken by ambulance to the BMH where she received treatment.
WVLT spoke with one victim, Michaela Napier, who said the zebra attacked her from behind while she was trying to take a picture with the pet.
"It picked me up, slammed me down. It picked me up, slammed me down. It was almost like a tea bag," Napier said.
She said it was a traumatic experience that left her with a bloody wound on her back.
"I'm not exaggerating when I say I thought it was going to kill me."
The zebra's owner, Bobby White, said he's never had an issue with people admiring his animals-- he said he thought if people visit, they'd be cautious.
A spokesperson with the sheriff's office has an employee investigating the case.
WVLT News crews saw a sign posted near the zebra's enclosure on private property with a warning saying, "please do not feed or pet the animals. Keep back from fences."
Neighbors said the warning sign is new.
The investigation is ongoing.
Tennessee classifies zebras are a class III animal alongside horses and donkeys. This class does not require a permit by the Department of Agriculture.
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