The animals were seen gallivanting on Sunday in the area.
They were spotted in a Planet Fitness parking lot, then running down a neighborhood street and even at a KFC on City Avenue.
Zebras in custody. They are already sporting old-timey prisoner getup ahead of trial and sentencing. Have faith, fellas.— Philadelphia Police (@PhillyPolice) November 15, 2015
Witnesses took to social media to chronicle the bizarre scene.
Twitter user JahMari_Couture posted a Snapchat video of the incident.
Look here's a little video of them running 😩 pic.twitter.com/woLShf5lZV— .... (@JahMari_Couture) November 15, 2015
Sister station WPVI-TV had cameras on location as officials captured the zebras, 30 minutes after their short-lived escape.
So how did they get out?
The circus told WPVI-TV that's what they're working to uncover. But that's little comfort to protesters with Animal ACTivists of Philly.
The group said the circus has contracts with these animal acts and are not surprised this happened.
"Wild animals in circuses - that's expected to happen - you can't control wild animals," said Jackie Cane with Animal ACTivists of Philly.
Some say their brief escape could have ended worse.
"They saw a chance to escape, took a run for it and then ended up in traffic, and people probably honking at them, almost causing accidents," said Marianne Bessey with Animal ACTivists of Philly.
The incident comes weeks after a UniverSoul Circus trapeze artist was briefly hospitalized after falling into the crowd during an Oct. 31 performance.
In this case, there were no reported injuries, but activists groups such as PETA are calling for the circus to retire animal acts and for the U.S. Department of Agriculture to investigate the incident immediately.
PETA released the following statement:
"Yet again, animals have escaped a circus and been chased through a city they never should have been taken to in the first place. UniverSoul needs to retire its animal acts immediately, and all kind families should refuse to buy a ticket to any circus that exploits animals. PETA is asking the U.S. Department of Agriculture to investigate immediately to ensure that the animals are receiving veterinary care and have safe and proper enclosures."