California’s Wild Zebras & Elephant Kids~

What, you didn’t know California had wild Zebras? Well, don’t feel bad, neither did I, until I saw them grazing with the cows on the side of the road in Big Sur and nearly ran off the road!
Apparently William Randolph Hearst imported them long ago from Africa to roam around his castle with his cows.
It must have been good to be William Randolph Hearst.
These are definitely California elephant seal kids. They stole someone’s boogie board and there is no way they are giving it back! Probably ripped it off from some Southern California kid and boogied north on it. What, you didn’t know elephant seals boogie boarded? Don’t feel bad, neither did I.
Like many California kids, all they want to do is surf and sleep, and hang out at the beach.
This is exactly what I did when I was a California kid.
It’s good to be a Ellie kid!
Thank you for your patience with my elephant seal photos, this is the last of them! Cheers to you from Caly’s Zebras & Ellie Kids~
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160 thoughts on “California’s Wild Zebras & Elephant Kids~

  1. Loved the series. They sure know how to relax (except in mating season). Zebras? Holy Doppler Effect. Did you know there were camels and sloths and miniature horses and capibaras (SIC) in Florida? Hearst was not responsible for it.
    Once again, nice pics. Poor boogie boarders.

    1. I did not know about the sloths, capiberas and camels in Florida. I have seen their massive pythons though and hear they are breeding prodigously. There are piranha somewhere too. Good to hear William wasn’t involved with all this, he was responsible for quite enough, thank you!! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. I’ve missed you and your exquisite photos. Oh how I miss Big Sur and the Central Coast of California where we had the divine blessing of living 13 years. The wild zebras seems like something cooked up between Eastwood and the Hurst family. Eastwood has allowed some of the animals from the Hurst Castle location moved to The Mission Ranch. Perhaps the ranch was a bit to calm and the zebras made their way down to Big Sur. There’s nothing like watching the Elephant Seal Kids at play. We loved to watch them up close and personal. Tom and I had a favorite place we would hike into where we could wait for whatever wonder happened by. We’d spend wondrous hours basking in the beauty of the surf and the grander of the crashing waves. We shared our small stretch of beach with the ‘Kids’ more than once and it was as if heaven’s gates opened. Thanks for allowing me to bask in sharing wonderful memories. When Tom wakes today, even for a few moments, I hope to share your shots of the seals and the coast with him. Thank you, Cindy.

    1. Awwww, so very glad I posted and I do hope Tom enjoys them. The Big Sur area has to be one of the most beautiful in the world, enhanced by it’s solitariness. The return of the otters and elephant seals is something I never thought to see in my lifetime and you are right, it thrills me too, to the bottom of my toes. Cheers to you Sherri, and to Tom. Tell him the seal kids say hello~

      1. Cindy – I always leave Tom’s i-Pad set up to your site and a couple other photographers he especially likes. Often I’m not sure when he’s reading but you can bet your tripod that he’ll tell me all about it when we have our sit down breakfast or dinner. This series of photos brought us particular joy and we so needed it. Tom’s physical condition has deteriorated and last week we entered into the wheelchair phase. Let’s hope all the physical therapy, etc. works for him. His body has taken such a beating. Thank you for the time he forgets the pain and can become lost in your photographs. He never fails to tell me what a splendid photographer you are.

  3. If I haven’t already, I want to thank you Cindy for doing what you do by highlighting your love of nature’s living treasures.

    lots of hugs and holiday cheer,

  4. Interesting stories around Hearst Castle, Cindy. It is worth visiting, a bit of Americana. I ran into Patty once up in the Sierra Nevada mountains when she was kidnapped/hanging out with the SLA. One of these days I blog about it. โ€“Curt

    1. Uhhhh, yeah I think you should! Her parents owned a house in La Jolla where I grew up, prime location off of Big Rock. I wonder who lives there now? I never saw Patty, but I did sell my Blue Bird nuts to the Hearsts……I felt they could have afforded to buy more!!! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  5. …surf and sleep, and hang out at the beach, what a life! ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you for taking us there… I’m so delighted to see these beautiful animals. Great photos, Cindy!

    1. No, I haven’t because like you I am not fond of American kings and their castles, but I do hear it is amazing, not on my list though. I’d rather see your otters and minks!

  6. I love visiting yours and Lee’s blog. The pictures you put together are so wonderful and entertaining. Thanks for all that you do. Happiest of Holidays ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Great zebra pics! They are gorgeous! I would love to see the Hearst castle some day!! I also would have loved being a California kid!! Nice warm weather! Hugz Lisa and Bear

    1. Laughing. This is the last post in a series, so the earlier ones explain this one which is probably impossible to follow!! ๐Ÿ˜‰ These are taken in Big Sur about a week ago. At the closest I was about 10 feet above them.

  8. I love this area… always a kick to see the elephant seal rookery… and I was amazed on my visits to Hearst Castle to see the zebras roaming free… the last remaining descendants of the originals. Enjoyed the photos!

      1. I heard a super sad story recently about the Hearst Zebras. Sounds like the neighbor ranchers shoot them when they cross out of the Hearst property because the Zebras are a “menace”, and then the ranchers turn the Zebras into rugs ๐Ÿ™ I hate people sometimes.

    1. Yes, we were in Africa and are going back next year and this is exactly what I thought. I had a pick of the two herds blending together that demostrated that no, this is not Africa and no it is not a zoo!!

  9. I learned a lot of new things from this post, Cindy! Who would have thought there were wild zebras in California? And I LOVE the picture of the seals with the boogie board. ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. How did the zebra get wild? Were they imported, then escaped and became feral?
    Lol, your pics are not only beautiful, they are also provocative! Thanks Cindy!!!

    1. William Hearst built a castle nearby for himself and his movie star girlfriend in the long gone olden, golden days. He imported the zebra from Africa because he could. They are thriving to this day and graze freely with the cattle. Weird I know, but hey, it’s California! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  11. I am so in awe of Hearst, so glad he chose to let zebras go wild! I would have driven off the road, or nearly so…
    I loved the seals, both days. The one with the big eyes is adorable. I found your comments about surfing and the boogie board so amusing, Cindy. You were really a California girl, sounds like!

    1. Sadly, I am a aging, soon to be in my Olden-Golden years, California girl. Oh God, I just thought this is like that terrible TV show with Bea Arthur, the Golden Girls. God, I’m almost a Golden Girl…….help me Mr Wizard!!!

  12. Oh, Cindy, I just so loved this post! It is so good to hear people care about animals like you have written about. Your photos are awesome and the one I just fell in LOVE with is the close up of the seal’s face. The gentleness and innocence portrayed is incredible! How did you manage to get a shot like that? Just awesome job all the way around! Love, Amy

  13. Cindy – your seal posts have been adventurous and so nice. I also like your upbeat take on things – for example, when I saw the piece of boogie board – I thought trash – and then your fun comment about the seals using it had me laughing = and diffused my critical side. ๐Ÿ™‚
    also love the zebra and the cow head-to-head shot – felt like friendship. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Oh what wonderful things to say! Perception is fascinating isn’t it? Two people looking at the same thing, may see it entirely differently. I am very glad you enjoyed the post and that it made you laugh. We need to laugh as much as possible! Cheers & thank you~

  14. Such a brilliant post dear Cindy ! Adorable animals,loved all their portaits,but the one with the zebra and the cow grazing together,was so sweet ! Have a wonderful day !

    1. So glad you had a chance to see the ellies. I have been to Big Sur many times and never saw the zebras, of course I wasn’t looking for them as I didn’t know they were there. I think if one is consciously looking, one will find them.

  15. Your post put a big broad light hearted smile on my face! Zebra is one of my totem animals….I would be in quite a state if I ran into wild zebras here in North america! Lucky lucky to get so close to these amazing creatures.

  16. I do wish there were zebras grazing in the fields of Sussex and elephant seals basking on the beaches of my seaside town. But never mind, they’re probably better off somewhere less crowded — a bit like me, really!

  17. Californian coastline is very like a lot we have here. And I loved the Zebras. Thanks so much for your support this year. Scattered words will close but Cryptic Garland will keep going.
    Have a wonderful Christmas. John

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