| images by john ecker, pantheon photography

California Coastal Zebra? photo by John Ecker | pantheon photography

California Zebra and Cow 1, photo by John Ecker, pantheon photography

CALIFORNIA COASTAL ZEBRA?  It was a strange sight, travelling along California Highway 1— the beautiful coastal road.  There, standing amid a herd of cattle was a zebra!  I wondered for some time why a rancher would keep a zebra among cattle.  A little on-line research provided the answer.  It seems that cattle grazing with zebra actually gain more weight.  In the wet season, grass grows fast.  It gets tall, fibrous and unappetizing to the cows. The zebras eat these top shoots on the tall grass.  That, in turn, causes regrowth of shoots at the base of the plant, nearest the ground.  The fresh shoots are tasty to the cattle and they eat more, causing them to gain weight more quickly than fields without zebras.  And, apparently, the cattle and zebra get along with each other quite well.

Shot handheld with a Nikon D300, 70-300 DX zoom lens at 70mm, f4.9, 1/250 sec, f25, ISO 1000 Copyright photo by John Ecker | pantheon photography.

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