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Jan 12, 2011 8:22 PM by Danielle Lerner

Sheriff's Department says shooting of zebras does not appear to be a crime

The San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Department says the shooting of three zebras who got loose from the Hearst Ranch last week, does not appear to be a crime.

David Fiscalini shot two of the zebras. He did not want to appear on camera Wednesday but says he had no other choice because the zebras were threatening the safety of his horses and other livestock. He was also concerned that some animals could get loose on Highway 46.

Deputies say the zebras were trespassing when they left their enclosures on the ranch. The California Department of Fish and Game also says zebras can be very difficult to capture and the rancher's options were probably limited.

"It's a domestic animal that's maybe aggressive because it's been on this huge property where it doesn't have fences that it knows, and now it's gotten off on smaller parcels," said Todd Tognazzini, a patrol lieutenant with the California Department of Fish and Game.

Cliff Garrison, the foreman of the Hearst Ranch, says it is unfortunate this happened. He also declined to speak on camera Wednesday saying he does not want to create any ill will for the Fiscalini family.

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