Prague, June 30 (CTK) – One of the two zebras that escaped from the Czech Circus Berousek on Tuesday drowned in the Berounka River and the circus owner believes that animal rights activists released the animals during the night, daily Mlada fronta Dnes (MfD) writes on Thursday.

“There is a double fencing. Somebody had to break the connecting chains and remove the fence,” the owner, Jiri Berousek, said.

The activists did no realise that their action would harm the animals, he said.

Berousek said the activists released six zebras. Fortunately, four of the animals did not run away as they probably got scared by something, he added.

Two zebras ran away in the wee hours. With help from a vet, one of the zebras was caught two hours later. However, the other one fell into a canal that diverts water from the Berounka River to a mill and drowned. Firefighters had to pull the dead zebra out of water.

The circus, which is presenting its show in Beroun, central Bohemia, these days, has not reported his suspicion to the police, the paper writes. “We have not received any such suspicion,” their spokeswoman Marcela Pucelikova said.

Berousek said such an incident has occurred for the first time. Fifteen years ago, a horse was stolen from the circus, he said.

The Berousek family is one of the prominent circus entertainers in the Czech Republic. It started the tradition in the early 20th century. Circus Berousek is now led by Jiri and Renata Berousek who are the seventh generation of the family entertainers. Other members of the family run their own circuses, too.