The Wild Zebras of CaliforniaYou 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) #zebra #California
California City of Sunnyvale is Fighting Crows with LasersThe city of Sunnyvale, California has a burgeoning crow population. While normally animals hanging around a city isn’t that much of a problem, in this particular area, the crows have become a nuisance. They have become the second most common complaint from residents.The city and its residents finally had enough of these cawing animals and decided to roll out a crow abatement pilot program. A worker will point a $20 handheld laser at these animals in hopes of scaring them away. According to laser scientist and Sunnyvale resident Ken Ibbs, “the reason it frightens them away is the same reason it’s useful for giving seminars,” he said. “It looks very bright. Green is particularly bright for things like crows. They have much more visual acuity.” Hopefully, the lasers do work to drive them away! Image credit: Anda Chu/Bay Area News Group#animals #california #sunnyvale #lasers
Pacific Footballfish Washes Ashore on Black's Beach in San Diego, CaliforniaIn November of 2021, a famous deep-sea creature from the film Finding Nemo was spotted on Black's Beach in San Diego, California. Jay Beiler, a Torrey Pines resident, was walking on the shore beneath the Glider Port when he came across the uncommon and unique deep-sea monster.It appeared to be a jellyfish at first glance, but when viewed up close, it was the "stuff of nightmares—mouth almost looked bloody!" and was around a foot long, according to Beiler.He decided to share the photos he had taken to NBC 7 San Diego a few days after seeing the fish. NBC 7 moved quickly and sought the expertise of scientists from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. The fish that washed up on the beach, according to Ben Frable, collection manager of Scripps' marine vertebrate collection, was a Pacific footballfish, one of the larger species of anglerfish that is mostly found in the deep oceans of the Pacific Ocean.One of the lessons we've learned from this recent experience is that only two footballfish have been discovered in the area. The most recent one, as well as one discovered in 2001.Photo by: Jay Beiler#PacificFootballfish #SanDiego #BlackBeach #California 
92 Rattlesnakes Found Living Under the Floor of a California HomeSnakes and Ladders? What about snakes in your basement?On October 2, a woman from Santa Rosa contacted Sonoma County Reptile Rescue after fearing she had snakes under her house.The director of Sonoma County Reptile Rescue came to her aid the next day and discovered a crawling mass of 92 snakes under her flooring. The snakes were identified as Northern Pacific Rattlers, which are one of the deadliest snakes in Northern California. According to Wolf, the woman's house appears to have an active den beneath it. Also, the snakes have made it a breeding place and have been there for quite some time.The retrieval of 59 newborns and 22 adult snakestook nearly 4 hours. Then there were two more expeditions to the site, where another 11 snakes were discovered. Despite the large number of snakes discovered and the need to return to the site, no one was bitten.Images by: Alan Wolf, Sonoma County Reptile Rescue#Rattlesnakes #California #SantaRosa #Sonoma #snake