It started as a beef cattle operation that, in an unexpected turn of events, turned into a sanctuary for mistreated and unwanted animals.
Longtime animal lovers Jen and Tray Federici are the owners of The Surf and Turf Sanctuary. Before they were an animal sanctuary, they were quite nontraditional when it came to selling their product.
“At our ranch, unlike traditional ranchers, we tried to be very selective about whom we sold our calves to,” their website said. “We always wanted the best for them, hoping that the ones we sold would grow up to live their lives as herd bulls, adding great bloodlines to other herds.”
But after a life-changing experience, the couple decided to stop selling cattle and start taking in animals that needed a better home.
One of those animals was their beloved zebra, Mystery, who was adopted before the farm became a sanctuary.
“When we got her, she went straight to our cows,” Jen said. “We’re not sure if she thinks she’s a cow or what.”
Mystery loves to hang around and protect all the calves on the farm. She acts as a mother and guardian to every new calf on the farm.
“She’s just a watchdog,” said Jen. “She’s never not aware.”
If the calves would lay down and fall asleep, Mystery was there to keep watch, even when the herd left them behind. She acted like a sheepdog and herded any straying calves back to the herd.
“Female cows always look after another’s calves. And she is one with all of them,” Jen said.
The Federici’s rescued Mystery from a drive-through petting zoo when her personality proved to be too wild for the zoo. The owner originally planned to get their money back by selling her to a canned hunt, which is where someone pays a large amount of money to shoot the animal.
But Jen and Tray couldn’t bear to see Mystery go that way.
As they researched more about the process, the couple soon decided to stop their ranch and create the sanctuary in its place.
Mystery helped the Federici’s learn about the cruel ways animals can be treated. Because of this one lovable zebra, they have also been able to save many different kinds of animals.
And Mystery loves every single one of them.
“It’s really interesting that she can cohabitate with everybody from the turkeys to the goats,” explained Jen. “Our dogs are around. The cats are around. And you know, we have the ostrich!”
Mystery is a very special zebra who loves to take care of her diverse herd. The Federici’s couldn’t be happier to give her such a wonderful home.
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