Hearst Castle Zebras Shot and Killed by Neighbor

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A zebra at the Hearst Castle. Photo: Annie's Picture Stuff on Flickr

    Zebras don't make good neighbors.

    Three zebras that escaped from the Hearst Ranch in central California were shot and had their hides tanned by an upset neighbor worried about the animals hurting his own horses.

    The mansion built by the former publisher of the San Francisco Examiner William Randolph Hearst is home to about 80 animals on the property.

    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.