One of the most incomprehensible acts that I can imagine is someone taking pleasure in shooting and killing a totally defenseless and innocent animal while he is minding his own business. Unfortunately, not everybody shares this point of view as evidenced by last week’s slaughter of three Zebras on the Hearst Ranch in San Simeon, California. These Zebras are what is left of what once was the world’s largest private zoo, a collection of numerous species that roamed the estate of William Randolph Hearst.
In early January, three of these Zebras wandered off the ranch and onto an adjacent ranch and was shot by the rancher. Actually, to be more accurate, one rancher shot two of the Zebras and a second rancher shot the third. There were actually two idiots who killed these animals, not one. Their rationale? “ I was taking care of my property and getting rid of a predator; the Zebras spooked my horses.” Really? Zebras eat horses?” Well, I guess anyone who is stupid enough to think Zebras are predators is also stupid enough to think they would be an imminent threat to horses or livestock. How much grass could three Zebras eat before they decided to return to their home turf?
What is particularly appalling is that less than 24 hours after killing these animals, the ranchers called a local taxidermist to turn them into Zebra skin rugs. What do these guys do for a living? Sit out there on their ranch with binoculars and shotguns and just lie in wait for a majestic animal to wander beyond its fence line and then instantly kill it in the name of self-defense? Did they really need a rug that badly? These men are testosterone challenged uneducated assholes. Considering the Zebras posed absolutely no threat, why are these men’s actions being tolerated? Was it such a dangerous situation that their first thought was to kill them and make a rug out of them? The fact that some of the approximately 65 Zebras left on the ranch have from time to time ventured beyond their fence line and have been retrieved uneventfully debunk the ranchers’ claims that they posed an immediate threat to anyone or anything.
While these pathetic excuses for human beings can perhaps legally justify their actions, morally and ethically there is no excuse for their abhorrent behavior. These Zebras have probably been roaming those ranchlands for longer than either of these men has been alive. As far as I’m concerned, these ranchers are more of an imminent threat to society than the Zebras ever were.