The Associated Press reports:
Three zebras that escaped last week from the Hearst Ranch were shot to death by neighboring ranchers who say the animals threatened their horses and cattle.
David Fiscalini, owner of the Green Valley Cattle Company, said he shot two of the zebras because they were chasing seven horses on his property about 10 miles from the Hearst Ranch.
After shooting the animals, Mr. Fiscalini took them to a taxidermist to have their hides tanned; he said he did not want to waste them.
In a related story filed by the Los Angeles Times:
“You can’t believe the controversy,” said Rosemary Anderson, whose husband is the taxidermist that handled the zebras.
“It breaks my heart to see it killed, because it’s wanton waste,” she said. “It’s very sad that it wasn’t handled in a different manner, but this rancher felt that was he taking care of his property and getting rid of a predator.”
A predator? Zebra?
Living 10 miles from Heart Castle, where did he think these highly dangerous predator Zebra came from? Surely cattlemen aren’t that stupid. Well, everything looks like meal to a cattle rancher I guess.
The article continues:
Stephen Hearst, the great-grandson of William Randolph Hearst, said he was shocked to learn about the killings.
He said the zebras rarely venture outside the fence that surrounds the Hearst Ranch, “but from time to time they do, and neighbors give us a call and we retrieve them.”
Here are couple more points made in another Associated Press story:
“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. 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.
ZEBRA GRAZING WITH CATTLE ON THE HEARST RANCH
You will see from the opening images of this video the Hearst zebra grazing contentedly among cattle. The poor unsuspecting zebra did not know when they unwittingly joined cattle on neighboring land they would be immediately shot on sight. The zebra were probably excited to see the horses and were just having a game. What a deadly game it turned out to be. And we agree. Wanton waste indeed.