Archive for Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Lawrence zebra sidelines Pitt. State football player

July 22, 2009, 10:37 a.m. Updated July 22, 2009, 5:34 p.m.


— A Pittsburg State University football player says an encounter this summer with a zebra at a Lawrence-area farm has ended his season.

Joe Windscheffel, a 6-foot-2, 225-pound linebacker and safety from Smith Center, said he had to move three female and a male zebra to paint a fence along a pasture line.

But in an unprovoked attack, the male charged him, bit his arm and would not let go. The animal was dragging Windscheffel by his arm when two of his fellow farm hands finally freed him.

He was left with a compound fracture on his forearm that required a plate and six pins. Windscheffel — who redshirted last season because of an Achilles injury — won’t be able to play for the Gorillas this season.

Through a family member, Windscheffel on Wednesday declined to comment or to identify where the incident happened.

“There are several people in the county with zebras,” Keith Dabney, Douglas County’s director of zoning and codes, wrote in an e-mail. “I was surprised to see that someone was injured by one.”

Dabney said county regulations do not prohibit the ownership of zebras like they do for other exotic animals — such as bears and members of the dog and cat families that are not customarily domesticated.

Peach Madl, whose family has zebras south of Baldwin City, said the incident did not occur at her farm. She has never seen a zebra attack a person, but Madl said she had heard males can get aggressive during a breeding season.

“They can be dominant,” she said.

Gary West, a Kansas State University assistant professor of zoological medicine, said zookeepers and veterinarians are often cautious when working with zebras.

“They can be aggressive,” West said.

As for Windscheffel’s injury, several sports Web sites on Wednesday pointed to the irony that a football player was injured by something with stripes. Referees are often referred to as zebras.

“If you ran with it, you could go with the fact that officials get blamed for everything that goes wrong,” said Frank Smysor, a Lawrence resident who has served as a high school football and basketball official for 37 years.

- The Associated Press contributed to this story


MarchSadness 8 years, 9 months ago

I wish someone had a video of this. It sounds hilarious!

Bob Forer 8 years, 9 months ago

Marchsadess, what is so fricking hillarious about somebody ending up with a compound fracture???

Tim Quest 8 years, 9 months ago

This had to have happened at Doug Compton's compound, yes?

MarchSadness 8 years, 9 months ago

I seemed to have angered the lawrence locals once again.

Would it be funny if you were bit (edjayhawk)? - Yes, I would joke about it everyday. I was attacked by a Zebra! Not too many people get to say that.

Are compound fractures hilarious (thesychophant)? - Yes, they are fricking hilarious and I hope you get one in the near future.

So park your Prius', put down your groceries from the Merc, and chill out!

greenworld 8 years, 9 months ago

breaking news....a gorilla came to his

poppygirl 8 years, 9 months ago

i wonder if this was some form of a mating ritual !

Jersey_Girl 8 years, 9 months ago

Larry - I disagree. While the injury was most definitely serious and not at all funny, the accident was. Over in the thread disussing health care, I mentioned I had brain surgery. Is brain surgery funny? No. Did I make jokes about it? Hell, yes! "It's not like it's brain surgery. Oh, wait, yes, it is!" "I need this like I need another hole in my head!" Lame, maybe. But still jokes about brain surgery.

Jersey_Girl 8 years, 9 months ago

I'm sorry, but how is a football player getting sidelined by a zebra, of all the animals on the planet, not funny?

woodenfleaeater 8 years, 9 months ago

MarchSadness, I'd go to it. I'd probably give you 20.00 to watch this.

Kryptenx 8 years, 9 months ago

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ECM 8 years, 9 months ago

How sad that this young man suffered this injury. I have to wonder if he was trained or had assistance in handling these wild animals. Yes zebras are wild and very terriorial animals they are not small horses/ponies. The male was protecting his herd. I hope this young man has a speedy and full recovery and that there is no loss of scholarship due to his injury.

Jonathan Kealing 8 years, 9 months ago


We're working hard to find out when and where this happened. There are at least three people in the county who have zebras. Yes, Doug Compton is one of them. But there are a couple of others. When (and if) we can track it down, we'll provide an update to this unaltered AP story.

Jonathan Kealing Online editor

freestatetrumpet 8 years, 9 months ago

amazing lawrence finaly puts an story about my gorillas. amazing it takes a lawrence zebra for this newspaper to recognize pitt state is actually a kansas school. ljworld will write stories on all the other school except pitt state. well now we have one. i fell a small bit better. GO--RILLAS!

Jersey_Girl 8 years, 9 months ago

TOB - and you weren't even there fore the conversation I just walked into at work.

short_one 8 years, 9 months ago

I don't know whose zebra(s) they were BUT Doug Compton's compound has a fresh paint job on the fence...

Steve Jacob 8 years, 9 months ago

I hope if he's on scholarship that he does not lose it.

ralphralph 8 years, 9 months ago

The injuries are awful, but the circumstances are undeniably funny ... really funny ... much more so than when that kid getting pictures taken down near Independence got bit on the head by a tiger. ;) btw ... Zebras would be considered 'exotic' animals, wouldn't they? Any restrictions on what someone can and cannot have around these parts? Apparently they can be dangerous.

guesswho 8 years, 9 months ago

I do feel bad for the guy, but I can't resist....

I guess his Achille's heel went from his actual Achilles to a literal zebra that isn't on the football field.

short_one 8 years, 9 months ago

The satellite view is pretty outdated but the zebras (along with a camel--go figure) actually live in the field that appears to go with the house next door to the lower right of his place when you are looking at the satellite image. Don't know who lives in that house but seems as if they might be the actual owners of said zebras.

Jersey_Girl 8 years, 9 months ago

ralph - anything with a mouth can bite. Someone in an earlier post suggested perhaps the male zebra was simply trying to protect his herd. I don't think that means he is a dangerous animal. People get bitten by birds, mice, rats, cats, dogs, hamsters and ginuea pigs every day. Heck, people get bitten by other people every day (spend much time around a teething toddler and you'll find out while they are known as "ankle-biters").

Jersey_Girl 8 years, 9 months ago

And I'd think a fenced-field is the most logical place to keep a zebra. If only Shel Silverstein were still alive. I'd love to read his poem about a Gorilla getting bitten by a zebra.

KansasVoter 8 years, 9 months ago

This is a funny story, but it would have been better if the headline was "Gorilla attacked by zebra."

puddleglum 8 years, 9 months ago

I wish compton would let me come check out those zebras. that is cool that he has them out there. It is too bad that he pushed so hard for that wal-mart; I lost alot of respect for him at that point. (sure, he may not care what I think-I just expected him to change his tenant once he saw that the overwhelming majority of the citizens of the town in which he lives wanted nothing to do with wal-mart. Just heard it from one of their managers that they are laying off another round of workers, due to sales nowhere near their projections. thankyou, lawrence patrons.)

MarchSadness 8 years, 9 months ago

A funny picture I thought you all would enjoy....

Lawrence developer Doug Compton feeds one of his two zebras at his
home. Compton's family is host to many animals, including bison and

Lawrence developer Doug Compton feeds one of his two zebras at his home. Compton's family is host to many animals, including bison and camels. by Scott McClurg/Journal-World Photo

bad_dog 8 years, 9 months ago

I guess in that particular case, MarchSadness, the zebra didn't bite the hand that fed it.

I hope Joe recovers quickly. That had to be a pretty traumatic experience as well as a devastating injury.

Jersey_Girl 8 years, 9 months ago

ralph - I do apologize if my posts to you were snarky. I'm baiting people elsewhere and I'm afraid you got caught up in my frame of mind.

YouPeopleAreCrazy 8 years, 9 months ago

In other news, some local zebra's just spontaneously combusted.

Jersey_Girl 8 years, 9 months ago

Let me guess. They were black and white and red all over.

5thgeneration 8 years, 9 months ago

I wonder what property will burn to pay for this?

madman 8 years, 9 months ago

I heard the Zebra has been shot. But, who knows if that is true.

jumpin_catfish 8 years, 9 months ago

I'm guessin' that these are Obama's zebras from his homeland of Kenya.

somebodynew 8 years, 9 months ago

ironhorse - I think the story said on a farm "near" Lawrence. That would make it the county and you would have to check their regulations (and I am not sure if they have any for zebras). And to those thinking about DC, yes he lives in the county.

BlackVelvet 8 years, 9 months ago

"I wonder what property will burn to pay for this?" now, given Compton's reputation, THAT'S FUNNY!!!

mdrndgtl 8 years, 9 months ago

I knew this would happen eventualy, they need to open the season on these things.

introversion 8 years, 9 months ago

Totally Doug Compton's zebras. That's my bet.

TopJayhawk 8 years, 9 months ago

The article said there are no laws about Zebras like other excotic animals. Read people.

Linda Aikins 8 years, 9 months ago

I'm sorry about his football career. That is too bad for him and I hope his injuries heal well.

justforfun 8 years, 9 months ago

"This is a pretty big story as zebras are not that common in the middle of Kansas." Ironhorse you live a boring life if this is big news to you. Oh yea, and the Zebra was provoked, He was in the pen pushing it with forgien objects to get it to move. I call Dumba$$ on him!

Bob_Keeshan 8 years, 9 months ago

5thgeneration (Anonymous) says…

I wonder what property will burn to pay for this?

As the Lawrence Journal World nears its 1,000,000th comment, I respectfully nominate this one as the best of all time.

A message to the other 999,999 comments, the line forms at the left.

madman 8 years, 9 months ago


That's pretty good but, I my personal favorite was this one. (not related to this article of course).

zettapixel (Anonymous) says…

Bust the thugs. Not the jugs!

hipper_than_hip 8 years, 9 months ago

Did this happen at Comptons estate on Bauer Brook?

farmgal 8 years, 9 months ago

It's too bad that the guy got hurt, but maybe he learned something. I don't know how he tried to move the zebras, but if he tried to shoo them as if they were chickens...that was a big mistake. You never take lightly the power of larger livestock. ALWAYS think it through and have a plan. ALWAYS have something to use as self- defense. I use a heavy duty oak broom handle and so far that has worked well for moving cattle around. If they get out of line a strong whack to the nose or face and they back off quickly.

celi2000 8 years, 9 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

celi2000 8 years, 9 months ago

This kid's dreams went up in smoke. I don't think that's funny. I imagine he has worked pretty hard to make it where he was and he has had some pretty bad luck. I can't fathom why anyone would find that humorous.

ontheotherhand 8 years, 8 months ago

farmgal, I agree with you. But I will go one step further and ask why in the world did the zebra owner let visitors/workers paint on the same side of the fence as the animals in the first place? This young man should have never been placed in a position to have to move around the animals so he could paint the fence. I have 3 horses and there is NO WAY in hades I would ever let people around them without supervision. Zebras and horses bite, nip, and kick. They bump against you to establish dominance. They can step on your feet if you are not watching. And let me tell you: all of these events hurts! I certainly would not want that kind of liability. Geez, how irresponsible!

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