A zebra at the Hearst Castle. Photo: Annie's Picture Stuff on Flickr
Zebras don't make good neighbors.
The zebras were descendants of animals brought to the castle in 1923 for Hearst's private zoo.
The animals escaped from the mansion's property last week and were shot by the owner Green Valley Cattle Co. about 10 minutes away from the castle because he said he feared the zebras would attack his own animals.
The Hearst family was not too pleased by the news. William Randolph Hearst's great-grandson, Steve Hearst, told the San Luis Obispo Tribune that he was “a little shocked and disappointed" by the news.
"(I was surprised) that our neighbors wouldn’t have just called to say, ‘We have three of your zebras down here, and how do you want to get them back?’ Neighbors are usually there to help their neighbors, not shoot their zebras," he said. "It’s a shame they took that action.”
For his part, the owner of Green Valley Cattle Co. said he had no choice but to act quickly to protect his own animals and to make sure the zebras hides did not go to waste.