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“Pissed-off zebra” chases after cyclist… in California

Fortunately for the bike rider, the animal slipped and fell before it could catch him

Image by Yathin S Krishnappa CC BY-SA 4.0

Seeing exotic animals on a bike ride is nothing unusual these days – when I lived in north Oxfordshire, it wasn’t unusual to see alpacas, emus and even the odd ostrich when out and about for a ride. But a zebra chasing down a cyclist in California? That’s a new one.

The animal – “seemingly pissed off,” according to SF Gate – decided to go after 48-year-old bike rider Marcos Chavez when he was on a four-hour bike ride that took him through the coastal town of Carpinteria, near Santa Barbara.

“As soon as I rolled up, the zebra, he saw me,” Chavez explained. “He heard me and he saw me, and he kept looking at me.”

As we’ve seen in the past with incidents involving bears, a motorist came to the aid of the cyclist, trying to put his vehicle between the angry animal and the cyclist, but the zebra went after the cyclist regardless.

“The zebra started running at me. It looked like air came out of its nostrils,” said Chavez.

He managed to escape the unwanted attention of the quadruped after it tripped over.

“He took three steps, but then the zebra slipped and fell,” he said.

Local social media has reportedly been abuzz with people trying to establish the identity of the animal, as well as its owners – and it appears he goes by the name ‘Maynard’, who lives alongside alpacas in a ranch that until recently could be booked on Airbnb.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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