Do not attempt to adjust your computer’s video settings.
The video clip attached to this web story includes images of a Shetland pony — and a zebra — taking a Wednesday morning trot down Staten Island’s Victory Boulevard.
Business owner Zachary Osher just happened to be in the right place – at the right time, and recorded the stroll with his cell phone.
“I was sitting there, minding my own business – doing my morning routine”, Osher told PIX11’s Jay Dow.
Dow asked Osher if that morning routine included any hallucinogens. He laughed and replied, “I was thinking, did I drink too much last night? I don’t know what happened!”
Zachary attempted to prevent them from wandering into traffic.
But the pony clearly had other plans as he lead the naïve Zebra – which, just in case you were wondering, is not indigenous to the United States.
“A car came to a screeching halt and almost hit the animals. I tried running after the animals, but they banked right. And again, the zebra following everywhere the pony is going!”, Osher said.
Dow added, “Well, the pony knows where it’s going!
Osher said, “The pony was the alpha male. It knew where it was going, and the zebra was following right behind it.”
Dow joked, “Zachary, the pony is a New Yorker.”
Osher continued with his account, telling Dow, “So I turn off my camera and I turn around, and there were two guys running after the animals with lassoes.
At that very moment, Dow jokingly put a reassuring hand on Osher’s shoulder, looked him in the eye, and asked, “Zachary, what did you drink last night?” Osher laughed out loud.
Fortunately for Zachary’s sake – there were other witnesses.
Vincent Spitalieri told Dow, “I got the Christmas tree stand up the block, and I thought I was hallucinating. I really did. It was really a wild scene, I couldn’t’ believe it.”
Believe it, because the animals actually live down the street, in a pen owned by 31-year old Giovanni Schirripa.
He says he paid $6,000 for the Zebra.
Dow asked Giovanni what happened. He replied, “Nothing. I went to go feed him, and he just ran out. I left the gate open,” Schirripa told Dow.
Schirripa went on to say the zebra’s name is Razzi, and that he bought the animal two months ago.
Why? “Because I did it for a petting zoo for Oktoberfest down the block. So I figured I’d get something different,” he told Dow.
A spokesperson for New York Animal Care and Control confirms zebras are not legal pets, but acknowledges they are permissible in petting zoos.
Still, Zachary Osher, who recorded the escape, says he fears for the animals’ safety.
“It’s dangerous for the animals, and it’s dangerous for people”, said Osher.
Giovanni disagreed. “What about when someone’s dog runs away? Or cat? My horse ran away. Right or wrong?”
Giovanni says he doesn’t want any more negative attention on the animals. Both and Razzi and Casper are leaving this area – leaving his home. Razzi the zebra going back to Phillipsburg, New Jersey, for the winter.