The Wild Zebras of California

You expect to only see zebras roaming free in Africa. It's true that some farms have zebras, but they are usually few in number and restricted by fences, as in zoos. But in San Simeon, California, there is a herd of 151 wild zebras, a growing population that does just what zebras do when they are free to live their lives as they please.

These zebras were once the property of newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst. As a display of his wealth, he owned the largest private zoo in the world, until the Great Depression forced him to sell off most of the animals. He kept the zebras for a while, until a winter storm destroyed their fence and they just walked off to roam Hearst's 77,000 acres of land. In a quirk of fate, the ranch land in California is very much like the African savannah, and over the next 80 years, the zebras thrived and reproduced. Read about the California zebras and the laws, or lack thereof, that allow them to run free at Big Think. -via Real Clear Science 

(Image credit: BMilne

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