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Hearst Zebras Killed by Ranchers

January 12, 2011

I can never understand stories like this. Why not tranquilize the animals? Why must they be killed?

CAMBRIA, Calif. — Three zebras that escaped from the Hearst Ranch in California were shot to death by neighboring ranchers who claim the exotic animals were threatening their horses and cattle.

The animals are descendants of zebras brought to the San Simeon estate of William Randolph Hearst in 1923 as part of the publisher’s private zoo. About 80 zebras currently wander the property around Hearst Castle, and three escaped last week.

Green Valley Cattle Co. owner David Fiscalini said he shot two of the zebras because they were chasing seven horses on his property about 10 miles from the Hearst Ranch. The third zebra was shot by another neighbor after it got into a herd of cows.

After shooting the animals, Fiscalini took them to a taxidermist to have their hides tanned, he told the San Luis Obispo Tribune. He didn’t want to waste the hides, he said.

Randolph Hearst’s great-grandson, Steve Hearst, said the ranchers should have called the Hearst Ranch to report the runaway zebras.

“Neighbors are usually there to help their neighbors, not shoot their zebras,” Hearst said. “It’s a shame they took that action.”

But Fiscalini said there wasn’t time to call. It’s branding time on his ranch, and replacing a horse that might have been injured in a clash with the zebras would have cost him tens of thousands of dollars, he explained.

“These zebras have no respect for fences. They tear fences down and go right through them,” Fiscalini said.

Read more: http://www.sacbee.com/2011/01/12/3319480/calif-ranchers-kill-3-escaped.html#ixzz1ArmZi711

  1. lori
    January 13, 2011 at 4:39 am

    I am soooo sad and disgusted that a rancher….a rancher who knows how to handle livestock would be soooo insensitive and …. to murder not just one beautiful animal but two? And then to have the gull to take the hides to a taxidermist? What kind of a person would do such a bad thing. I have been raised in a family of ranchers and sportsmen and have been taught you eat what you kill.

  2. January 14, 2011 at 4:58 pm

    I am very saddened by the killing of these zebras. We are in the area often and I have photos I have taken of the Hearst zebras. The part that is saddest to me is the enjoyment the killer ranchers took in killing the zebras, even making rugs out of their hides like a trophy. Jerk! I am not an animal rights wacko, and I am not against hunting, but this was WRONG and stupid. The killer rancher’s response was to ask how he would be expected to catch the zebras that he described as being predators, well I dont know jerk, how about the same way you catch horses or cows?

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