Iowa zebra owner speaks out about fifth dead animal found at sanctuary


    Mike Henninger feeds two of the three remaining zebras at his place, Hevans Safari, just South of Oelwein.

    The owner of a zebra found dead on Sunday just south of Oelwein is saying he believes his zebra was intentionally killed.

    Mike Henninger says his zebra, Zena, marks the fourth animal found dead at his place, Hevans Safari, since August and the fifth animal since October 2017. Four zebras and one horse have died since October 2017. Henninger lost his first zebra last October after nearly a year of receiving what he recalls as being more than 3,000 threats. He says all of those threats have been turned over to the Buchanan County Sheriff's Office.

    “He sent videos of shooting a stuffed zebra on a fence and then grilling them on a grill and being real sadistic about it," said Henninger.

    In August of 2018, Henninger's pregnant mare named Dreamy collapsed. Surveillance video shows the horse staggering around outside at Hevans Safari before dropping to the ground. Henninger says a bullet was found in Dreamy's head. Veterinarians managed to pull out the bullet, but Dreamy died four days later.

    In the following month, Henninger says another one of his Zebra's named Zoey was shot and killed.

    "When the taxidermist got her he found a bullet wound in her, but it had been healed up and then it was all infected. The vet said the infection must have blew up and spread to her body and killed her," said Henninger.

    Since then, Henninger says two more zebras were shot and killed bringing Hevans Safari's zebra count from seven in 2017 to now three. The safari has several other animals now, including the newest addition, Nathaniel the camel.

    Henninger says the threats he receives are against more than just his animals; they include him and his family, too.

    "I don't remember a gunshot or anything. I just remember looking down and my leg was bleeding profusely," said Henninger.

    Mike Henninger is now a little more than a month into his recovery after being shot in the leg behind his home in October. He has 27 stitches in his right leg after being taken care of at a hospital.

    Henninger is working very closely with the Buchanan County Sheriff's office.

    CBS2/FOX28 News did reach out to the sheriff's office, who did not comment due to the fact that the investigation is ongoing.

    News In Photos

      Loading ...