What the Zebra?


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  • Carrie Peyton Dahlberg

Yes, those are zebras browsing in a field along Mattole Road. Josie Brown, a Petrolia resident, says they're owned by fashion designers based in the Los Angeles area. The zebras are cared for by a father and son team, Luis Juarez Senior and Junior, who make the drive from Ferndale several days a week to feed the animals and put them in at night.

Juarez Sr. has cared for the zebras since they were 3 months old and newly arrived from a zebra ranch in Oroville,. He says they were much gentler as colts and now, at 3 years of age, he and his son have to be a lot more careful when handling them. Zebras can't be domesticated and have been known to attack people, according to a Everyday Mysteries, a Library of Congress question-and-answer website.

  • Carrie Peyton Dahlberg

"They still follow my dad around everywhere though," says Juarez Jr, laughing.

The zebras are not the first animals along this stretch of the Mattole road to generate a second look—they share their pasture with two Texas longhorn cattle. Juarez Jr. quickly quashed the rumors of an albino mule, however.
"It's just white," he says. Darn.


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