The state of Indiana experienced a dangerously cold Wednesday morning as the arctic blast that has devastated the Midwest this week brought wind chills driving the temperature down to between -30 and -40 degrees Fahrenheit.
WTHR reports air temperatures also neared record lows of -10 degrees. With a wind chill warning that is currently still in effect until this afternoon, Hoosiers were encouraged to wear multiple layers if they absolutely had to go outside.
The news outlet went on to warn that skin being exposed to these extreme temperatures for longer than five to 10 minutes could result in frostbite.
People weren’t the only ones at risk during these extreme temperatures as experts encouraged everyone to bring their animals inside and keep them warm.
In a tragic story out of Carroll County, Indiana, local media outlet RTV6 reports a pet zebra on a family farm froze to death as a result of the arctic blast.
According to Sheriff Tobe Leazenby, authorities responded to reports of animal abuse on the farm when they discovered two zebras on the property. One of them had passed away.
Authorities conducted an investigation that involved consulting with a State Board of Health veterinarian to determine the zebra’s cause of death.
According to the veterinarian, the cause of death was just a tragic accident as the zebra got one of its hooves trapped in the fence and was unable to get out of the cold and into the shelter.
Whaaaaat???? .... Pet zebra dies in 'freak accident' at a Carroll County farm in Indiana. https://t.co/dXk37Wr6Pt— Dave Bangert (@davebangert) January 30, 2019
Officials believe the zebra likely panicked after breathing in the extremely cold air during the arctic blast before passing away.
Sheriff Leazenby revealed the farm owners do house other exotic animals on their property, including a kangaroo as well as more domestic animals such as a miniature horse.
After investigating, Sheriff Leazenby and his deputies do not have reason to believe any of the animals on the farm were being neglected or abused as they all had proper shelter from the cold temperatures as well as food and water.
The zebra was also determined to have proper shelter but was unable to get to it after getting stuck in the fence.
As a precaution, the second zebra residing on the farm has been removed and taken somewhere it can more securely be kept out of the brisk temperatures.
The local media outlet also confirms the owners of the farm do not face any charges regarding the death of the zebra. Despite being cleared of any charges, many have taken to social media to crucify the family farm as they don’t understand why they were allowed to have pet zebras in the state of Indiana to begin with.
First of all, what in the world is a Zebra even doing in Indiana? https://t.co/zIZZ96v6sR— Ian Elliott (@IanElliott16) January 30, 2019
“How about we stop keeping exotic animals in cold weather climates?!” one Twitter user exclaimed before encouraging the Hoosier state to “do better.”
Temperatures in Delphi – near the Indiana farm where the tragedy occurred – remain below zero.