The owners of Barcode, the zebra used in an Oxford College prank last week said they filed a theft report with the Newton County Sheriff's Office in hopes of deterring future pranksters.
Sherry and Curtis Jackson said they appreciated the joke, but were surprised that no one was hurt leading Barcode from his double-fenced pasture to the third floor of Seney Hall at Oxford College in the early morning hours on April 22.
While the 10-year-old non-neutered male zebra has formed strong bonds with the Jacksons, who raised and bottle fed him as a baby, Sherry pointed out that he was still a wild animal and was unpredictable.
She described how Barcode had once bitten her husband, lifting him off the ground.
She said they filed the report because they were under the impression the school was not going to press charges if the perpetrators were found.
They wanted to make sure other high school and college kids didn't attempt to do the same thing.
Someone claiming to have done the stunt already posted a description on the web site, www.museumofhoaxes.com, which included details of the pen and situation that were accurate, said Sherry.
Because Barcode was valued at $2,500, the theft was filed as a felony, said Sherry.
Capt. Bob Walker of the Emory Police at Oxford College said they were working on some leads and assisting the sheriff's department in the investigation.
He said some minimal damage to the elevator and some carpet damage was reported.
In a statement posted on the Oxford College Web site, Dean Steve Bowen said the damage was estimated to be under $10,000.
The Jacksons did get a few laughs out of the incident.
"What's black and white and read all over? Barcode in college," said Sherry, with a chuckle.
Although some of the hubbub is dying down, they've been bombarded with phone calls from people they haven't heard from in a while asking about Barcode, said Sherry.
She said she heard Oxford College alums all the way in France and Spain had heard about it and emailed the school.
"It's going to be a prank that's not going be forgotten," said Sherry.