The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says Shadow the zebra was "put down by the owner due to public safety concerns."
A Grant’s zebra is dead after escaping a Callahan, Florida, property.
According to First Coast News, the zebra, named Shadow, lived at Cottonwood Ranch — a scenic pasture with its own wedding venue — and somehow escaped the expansive grounds on Wednesday.
Shadow was spotted “trotting” down a local road by a neighbor. Jenee Watkins told First Coast News that she saw the animal stop to graze while she was walking her dog.
“And then cop cars come zooming so the zebra runs into this yard and then all the way into that back field. That’s when a car comes zooming, cops are zooming, I’m standing there, the owner shot it and the zebra fell,” she said about what happened next.
Another neighbor, Stephen Young, also told the news station that he saw the owner, who has not been publicly identified, shoot and kill the animal. In Young’s opinion, there was time to attempt to lasso and capture the animal instead of shooting it with a rifle.
In a statement provide to PEOPLE, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) said they are currently investigating the incident.
On March 27, “an unpermitted zebra escaped from an unlicensed facility, Cottonwood Ranch, in Callahan, FL. The zebra was eventually put down by the owner due to public safety concerns. There have been no reports of injuries to any persons made because of the escaped zebra. Initial information indicates that the facility is not in possession of any additional captive wildlife that would be regulated by the FWC,” reads the statement.
It is legal to personally possess a zebra in Florida, but the FWC requires that the owner obtain a Class III permit for the animal.
The Cottonwood Ranch did not respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.