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Zebra found skinned on beach near San Simeon died of natural causes

Zebras and cattle graze at Hearst Ranch in December.
Zebras and cattle graze at Hearst Ranch in December. jjohnston@thetribunenews.com

Correction: An earlier version of this story included incorrect information from the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office regarding the investigation.

A zebra found dead and skinned on the beach at the mouth of Pico Creek this weekend died of natural causes, officials said.

At about 12:25 p.m. Saturday, a deputy from the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office responded to the dead zebra, according to sheriff’s Sgt. Nate Paul. The zebra, which came from the nearby Hearst Ranch, had apparently died naturally and been washed down the creek to the beach, Paul said. It was unclear when the zebra was skinned.

Officials from Hearst Ranch declined to comment.

On Saturday afternoon, a picture of the zebra skinned and lying on the rocks near the coastline was posted in a Facebook group called Cambria Open Forum. “The word needs to get out and the person who did this needs to be found,” wrote Jennifer Wharton, who posted the photo.

The U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife also responded to the dead zebra. The department will not investigate the skinning because the zebra is considered Hearst Ranch property and the ranch decides whether to investigate, Paul said. In this case, the ranch decided not to launch an investigation.

Fish and Wildlife officials did not respond to a request for comment Sunday morning.

Gabby Ferreira: 805-781-7858, @Its_GabbyF

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