Emory University Zebra Prank

Neil Steinberg's classic advice about college pranks was that "If at all possible, involve a cow." The zebra (named Barcode) that was found locked inside Seney Hall at Georgia's Emory University this morning is a novel substitute. From the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

Campus police were still trying to find out who put the zebra on the third floor of Seney Hall sometime Tuesday night...
Putting animals inside Seney Hall has passed for a dry wit on the Emory at Oxford campus for decades...
Bowen said it was unlikely the responsible party would be punished. "We're not launching a major manhunt" he joked. And whoever put Barcode in the building made sure it didn't get hurt. "They lined up a row of chairs so the animal couldn't get close to the windows and injure itself," Bowen said.

Good for the pranksters for making sure the zebra wasn't harmed in any way.

I found out about the prank because I received an email this afternoon from the pranksters themselves. Or someone claiming to be the pranksters. Here's what they had to say. I didn't correct for spelling:

So i was looking at your top 10 college pranks and i think that you are missing one.. last night some friends and i locked a Zebra in a building at Emory University. here are the details.

I was deeply disappointed when i read what the press had wrote about the Zebra incident at the Oxford College of Emory University. Quite frankly everyone has it wrong. I know, because i organized it and the executed the prank with a group of friends and lookouts.

First of all, the prank had no intentions other than to raise a certain spirit in the Oxford College community. The was no malice what-so-ever.

To the detail that you can varify that I am , in fact , the one whom the credit is due. -I cut a chain around a gate that contained the Zebra that was accompanied by only a donkey. This "pasture" is off of Collingsworth drive after the dead end. - then i unhinged the second gate with a wrench because that chain was too thick to cut. - I then proceeded to transport the Zebra on foot down Collingsworth to Wesley street and then down a power-cut that leads behind the college off in the woods. At approximately 0455hrs I left the Zebra in the care of my cohorts as i met another accomplice that had slept in Seney hall in order to let me in from the inside. We prepared the 3rd floor by placing chairs and tables by the windows so that the Donkey would not be tempted to go near them. We also moved picture frames so that they would not be hurt. Lastly we barricaded the doors using 2"x2"x4' board that extended over the door frame and then were secured to the door with duct tape, zip-ties, and 11/2 inch U-bolts. Once the buildings was prepared we then moved the donkey through the front doors of Seney to the elevator to the 3rd floor. We then unloaded the donkey and took the elevator back down to the first floor. (now this is a good part) we sent the elevator back up to the second floor (which was also barricaded from the inside) with a Chair, books, and a small shelf leaning against the doors of the elevator so that when they opened on the second floor, the chair would fall prohibiting the doors of the elevator to close for use. As a back up we removed the elevator call key panel from the 1st floor lobby and Removed, NOT Cut, wires from the back of the button. The most damage this may have caused is a blown fuse. All in all I believe that once people see the brilliance behind this prank and get off their high-horse they may be able to see that college is about relationships and memories, not a grade on a test or your attendance record. - Seney hall was discovered to be locked down at approx 0735 and it took until 1115hrs to remove the Zebra. - Ultimately this was a HARMLESS prank, NOT vandalism. - and when all is said and done, it may have been one of the greatest pranks ever pulled off in history of American academia... A zebra was barricaded into the most historic building of one of the highest ranked universities in America... thats awesome!!

Regards, The Emory Pranksters

Animals Pranks

Posted on Wed Apr 23, 2008


thanks for the update
Posted by really?  in  New Haven, CT  on  Sun May 11, 2008  at  09:55 AM
I am a student at Oxford and I saw the zebra when he was finally brought out of the building. I cannot believe how ignorant people are. Everyone, from college administration to the local news, was saying the culprits were obviously concerned about the zebra's safety; apparently, they put a row of chairs in front of the windows in the room where the zebra was. Despite it being raised by humans and living in a farm-like environment, it is a wild animal. A row of chairs is not going to stop it from breaking windows and jumping out.
Posted by kyrtiz  in  Atlanta, GA  on  Wed May 28, 2008  at  01:24 PM
Also, I'm doubting the credibility of the letter. Oxford students in general have better writing skills than that. An anonymous letter was written to our Dean of Campus Life, and was shared with everyone on campus. That letter was much better, in the way of the English language, than the one on this site.

It states in the letter on this site that the zebra was brought out at 11:15 am. Part of the building where the zebra was, Seney Hall, is a bell tower. Local news video footage shows the zebra being led out of Seney Hall, while the bell tower is heard ringing in the background. The bell tower only chimes one tone. It chimes the hour on the hour and once at 30 minutes past the hour, but it does NOT chime 15 minutes after the hour.

Calling Seney Hall the most historic building of Emory is debatable, but it is not the oldest. Seney was completed in 1881, though the bell in the bell tower was cast in 1796. I don't know that it is oldest, but Few Hall, on the other side of Oxford's campus, was built in 1852.
Posted by kyrtiz  in  Atlanta, GA  on  Wed May 28, 2008  at  08:08 PM
I love pranks but putting a zebra in a room isn't a prank nor is it all that funny. I don't think it's animal cruelty it's just not funny.

I'm actually much more offended by the horrible grammar, spelling, and syntax used by this supposed college student. This "student" has also posted on this site under the nom de plume "ben wright [sic]" with as much finesse.

No one expects perfection in a website comment section but a letter, even email, should at least conform to the standards of daily correspondence. If you can't bother to at least attempt to use proper grammar and spelling, you clearly don't think it's worth spending time to make legible, so why should I bother reading what you've written?

College sure isn't what it used to be...
Posted by Mitur Binesderty  on  Mon Jun 02, 2008  at  12:09 PM
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