Skinned zebra found on the beach near San Simeon

January 16, 2017

Surfers spotted a skinned zebra lying dead on a beach near San Simeon, snapped a photo. The photo of the zebra then made rounds on social media, prompting angry reactions from numerous Central Coast residents.

Local and state officials are saying the zebra belonged to Hearst Ranch. The zebra reportedly died of natural causes and washed down a creek to the beach.

Though some residents have called for an investigation into the skinning of the animal, it is up to Hearst Ranch to trigger a probe. Hearst Ranch has reportedly opted not to request an investigation.

It is unclear when the zebra died and when it was skinned. San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s deputies and California Fish and Wildlife personnel came out to look at the zebra over the weekend.

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Surfing: definitely a dangerous sport. This zebra probably fell off his board and hit his head on a rock. Happens to the best of them.

I think people were angry before finding out it died of natural causes. I’m not sure why anyone would be angry for being able to make use of a hide? Is letting it rot better?

If you are going to take the hide the least you could do is also properly dispose of the remains, but like they leave their mess to be cleaned up by others.

Seagulls and nature will take care of the carcass!!!

Look for a guy driving a 59 Cadillac Convertible with a new Zebra hide seat cover!!!

Doesn’t seem that anything unseemly or illegal went on here, somebody smart enough to use a portion of a animal that had already died of natural causes!!!

Lot of petite dewdrops and snowflakes worried about not much:(

That is condor territory, they evolved for large mammal cleanup :)

What do you consider proper clean up of the carcass? Zebra’s are large, you can’t just dig a hole and bury them. Most ranches have a place where they dump livestock that has met an untimely demise (away from populated areas of the ranch, where the smell won’t cause a problem) and they allow nature to take its course. I would imagine that is where this zebra ended up and then unfortunately that area must have flooded and washed down to the coastline. In this case it was a wild animal that died but whoever found it originally operated under what most ranchers would do, they made use of what still had value (the hide) and disposed of the rest.

At this point the proper clean up is for the person who did this, and they know who they are, to remove the carcass. Lets assume their first attempt was to leave the carcass in an isolated canyon or such to let nature take its course and that was fine, but now that water has moved the carcass to a public beach the right thing is for the person who did this to now remove the carcass.

I think people are protective of the Hearst animals, as they’ve been a part of the north coast and Hunter Liggett area for years. They’re not meant to be penned in, and often find their way out inter-mixing with the cattle and other livestock of neighboring ranches and farmland. Most ranchers didn’t mind, as they all have to deal with strays.

But there was that one guy–I don’t want to call him a rancher –out or respect for the real ranchers in our area—so let’s just say he was an opportunist. — who quoted the letter of the law that allowed him to kill a stray zebra and skin it–yeah that guy.

So I don’t mind the probing, it is not anger, just people concerned that we may have another yahoo in our midst like last time–taking the life needlessly of a pretty cool transplanted animal.

Zebra’s are wild animals, they are not domesticated and they can be very aggressive against livestock (horses and cattle) and people for that matter. They are also hard to load in a trailer to get back to the Hearst Ranch which probably has something to do with the fact that the Hearst Ranch does not rush right over when a zebra crosses fence lines to other rancher’s properties. There is a reason for the law that allows ranchers to protect their livestock. The cattle and horses are their livelihood and the success of the ranch is dependent upon them.