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News

Japan zebra dies after golf course chase

Japan has been mourning the demise of a zebra that ran amok at a Japanese golf course, after escaping from a farm. The events leading up to the animal's death were broadcast live on national television.

Police said the two-year-old male zebra had escaped from a horseback riding club at a farm in Aichi Prefecture before wandering onto the golf course.

Television news footage showed it wandering from hole to hole on Wednesday morning, and when efforts to lasso the creature failed to pay off, vets shot it with a tranquilizer dart.

However, the zebra ran into a nearby lake, where it collapsed. Efforts to bring the animal back to land took too long.

"It collapsed in the pond, so we hurriedly pulled it ashore, but its heart had already stopped beating," said Takahiro Taniguchi, a police spokesman in central Gifu. "Veterinarians performed cardiac massage," he said, although this was not enough to prevent the "bitter aftertaste" of the animal's death.

The failed effort to recapture the zebra came only a month after a drill by a Tokyo zoo to practice a zebra recapture. According to Ueno Zoo, which was successful in its run-through, the animals are very easily panicked.

rc/jil (AFP, AP)