Oelwein man seeks answers for death of four zebras, horse

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OELWEIN, Iowa (KCRG) - It's not everyday somebody gets the chance to see a zebra in Iowa. Let alone, seven of them. Mike Henninger said it's his dream for kids to be able to come out and have a place to see his unique and rare animals. His dream is getting harder to complete with somebody allegedly picking off these animals one-by-one.

"I don't understand what the point is other than hurting me," said Henninger.

Henninger said he believes the man responsible for the crime won't stop until all his animals are dead, including his zebras.

Henninger said he got seven zebras about four years ago as support animals. Halloween of last year, somebody shot and killed his zebra, Taz. Henninger said the person behind it continued to send thousands of threatening messages and disturbing videos, including one shooting a stuffed zebra. This fall, the shootings continued.

"This past August, just about every month another one has been shot. A horse, and couple zebras every month after that," said Henninger.

Henninger said he's down about $30,000 but the emotional pain it's caused cuts deeper.

"It hurts worse losing them than me getting shot," said Henninger.

Henninger said he was out cleaning a woodpile when somebody shot him just before Halloween this year.

"I barely remember calling 911," said Henninger. "I was bleeding really bad and had to have three blood transfusions but I about lost my leg and they saved it."

While he can't get his animals back, he's hoping people can help put the man responsible behind bar not only for closure but so his pets can continue to bring happiness back to Oelwein.

The case is still under investigation. Henninger encourages anyone with information to reach out to the Buchanan County Sheriff's Office.