Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton Denies Setting Zebras Free In D.C. Suburbs

“My alibi is solid," said the Democratic lawmaker. “I hope the owners find the zebras and that all involved live long, full lives."

Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) on Friday denied responsibility for setting six zebras free in a D.C. suburb, but said she wished them well.

“Local news has reported that the zebras were let loose on Saturday or Sunday of last weekend, a period of time during which I was enjoying quiet time at home with family,” Norton said in a statement. “My alibi is solid.”

The D.C. delegate was referring to reports last weekend that zebras were roaming freely in Prince George’s County, Maryland. The zebras ― it’s unclear whether it was five or six ― escaped from a privately owned farm permitted to keep them.

Norton said a member of the public accused her of letting the zebras free by pointing out that she has historically valued the principle of “consent of the governed,” or the philosophy that a government’s right to use state power is justified only when consented to by the people or society over which that political power is exercised.

Norton said it’s true that she values that philosophy, particularly in her fight for D.C. statehood. She added that she opposes unnecessary fences, too.

For those reasons, Norton said, she can see why someone would accuse her of setting the zebras free. But it’s not true.

“I can understand why the charge was made,” said the D.C. delegate. “I hope the owners find the zebras and that all involved live long, full lives.”

The zebras are currently living their lives in people’s backyards and along roads in Prince George’s County.

Editor’s note: The author of this story also did not set the zebras free.

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