Last month a most unusual cast of characters was pulled over by law enforcement officers in Dubuque, Iowa.
Police arrested Jerald Reiter, 55, of Cascade, Iowa on charges of drunk driving as he was backing his truck out of a bar parking lot. His fellow passengers in the truck were another man, a Macaw parrot and a baby zebra.
Yes, you heard right… a baby zebra.
Reiter had a blood-alcohol level of .14, nearly twice the legal limit of .08. And although he admits that he was drunk, he also claims that he was about to let his passenger (the human one) drive when police stopped him.
According to Reiter, the Dog House Lounge frequently lets him bring his animals inside. However, on that night the bar was serving food so the bar owner forced Reiter to keep the zebra and parrot outside. The bar owner is apparently disputing this claim though and says that he never allows animals inside.
Reiter also speculates that police weren’t called on account of drunk driving but received a tip from one of the many gawkers outside the bar who got concerned about the animals’ safety.
Reiter’s girlfriend Vicki Teters told local media that the zebra and parrot “are a big part of the family” and are like her and Reiter’s children.
“They love going for rides,” Teters said. “They were not alone in the car, not even for a second.”