Gastonia Man Keeps Zebras in Yard - myfoxcarolinas.com

Gastonia Man Keeps Zebras in Yard

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There’s an exotic resident lounging around in Gastonia. And she has a daughter to boot.

13 year-old Dot and her seven-year-old Tina are zebras, living in the backyard of Sam Thompson Jr. Sam said he purchased a male and female zebra in 2001 simply because he wanted one.

“They’re a lot like horses, except I hear they’re safer,” he said. “And they eat less.”

He ordered them off the internet and they arrived on Labor Day when they were four-months-old. Thompson said the animals were playful and curious, just like any other baby would be.

“I still had to bottle feed them,” he said. “But they fought all the time, always biting each other and running around.”

Seven years later, Thompson woke up to a surprise in his backyard.

“I figured they’d mate,” he said. “I didn’t mind. I just got up one day and she must’ve had it during the night. It was already standing up and moving around a little bit.”

Eventually, Thompson had to give the male away because it became too aggressive.

“I was putting in a drain line and he jumped on my back,” he said. “He chewed me up a good bit.”

Today, the two female zebras live on Thompson’s property along with guinny foul, goats and peacocks. He said the only animals the zebras didn’t get along with were dogs.

“I had two dogs in here…big dogs, 50 pounds or so. They hid behind some barrels and when they came out, they had their tails between their legs. They were scared.”

Thompson said the zebras are harmless and that his neighbors enjoy coming over to feed them.

“They come over with bread, apples and such,” he said. “And I feed them horse feed and hay. You can tell they eat really well.”

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