Zebra ‘sightings’: Social media users embrace ‘Z’ with memes and jokes

May 3, 2024, 1:29 PM | Updated: May 4, 2024, 11:10 am

Image: The Pierce County Sheriff's Department was one of many organizations and businesses in Washi...

The Pierce County Sheriff's Department was one of many organizations and businesses in Washington to post jokes and memes about the missing zebra in the spring of 2024. (Image courtesy of the Pierce County Sheriff's Department/@PierceSheriff on X)

(Image courtesy of the Pierce County Sheriff's Department/@PierceSheriff on X)

The search for “Z” the zebra who got loose on Interstate 90 (I-90) Sunday and remained missing until being recovered Friday night had captivated people in Washington, the Pacific Northwest and across the nation. That, of course, has translated to various memes and jokes.

The owner, who is based in Montana, was hauling four zebras in a trailer when they escaped near North Bend last weekend. Three of them were corralled and recaptured later that day with the help of civil service workers and intervening citizens.

Shug, that’s actually the zebra’s name, had eluded capture despite daily sightings from North Bend residents, property owners and hikers. Multiple neighbors told KIRO Newsradio this week the zebra was spotted several times along the Snoqualmie Valley Trail, with multiple encounters happening near the Riverbend neighborhood and Boxley Creek.

While Regional Animal Services of King County (RAKSC) officials previously said they were no longer “actively searching” for the missing zebra, that didn’t stop people from reporting real sightings of the animal and fake sightings in the form of memes and jokes that can be seen on any social media channel near you.

More on the zebra: Evasive missing mare recovered in North Bend, is safe

Zebra memes: Z and Sasquatch

Unsurprisingly, a number of jokesters have assumed that Z and Sasquatch met, formed a fast friendship and are now roaming the Pacific Northwest together.


Z enjoying the local fast food chains

Perhaps Z got a couple of Dick’s Deluxe burgers before meeting some friends at Ivar’s.


Did Z stop for a pie, a cookie or both?

Zebras can place friendly wagers too

According to a couple of the local casino resorts, zebras like to pop in play some games, walk the grounds and enjoy a night’s rest in a nice room.

It’s possible Z just wants to enjoy some nice views or a relaxing walk

We wouldn’t blame Z if she wanted to head to the San Juan Islands or just wanted to stay near Seattle and relax.



Z takes in what else Washington has to offer

Perhaps Z and her friends just wanted to eat some peanuts and enjoy a ballgame with one of the area teams?




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Law enforcement agencies have been following Z’s movements carefully

Some of the city’s departments in the state are trying to recruit her and put her to work.




One local fire company is using Z as a recruiting tool and brought a couple of colorful quips to the forefront.

Other government agencies are keeping a close eye on Z

A lot of state and city employees have an eye out for the most popular zebra in Washington.






Don’t forget these

“It’s the Z the missing Zebra/Fruit Stripe/Kitsap Credit Union mash-up you didn’t know you needed,” Kitsap Credit Union wrote on its Instagram page this week. Indeed.


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A post shared by Kitsap Credit Union (@kitsapcu)


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A post shared by Seattle Magazine (@seattlemag)

Steve Coogan is the lead editor of MyNorthwest. You can read more of his stories here. Follow Steve on X, formerly known as Twitter, here and email him here.

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Zebra ‘sightings’: Social media users embrace ‘Z’ with memes and jokes