Wild Beasts of Mendocino County

UKIAH, Calif., Jan. 15, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Visit the Ukiah area in California’s Mendocino County and you’re likely to see Northern California’s ubiquitous wild turkeys (Rio Grande subspecies) and deer (probably mule deer). Pay attention and you may notice, or note signs of, wild pigs and bears. Look closely and you might, if you’re lucky, spot rarer resident fauna.

Planning a visit to the Mendocino Coast for whale watching? Through April, California gray whales will pass by during their annual migration (more information: https://www.visitcalifornia.com/experience/mendocino-whale-watching/ ). Why not plan your trip to include a leisurely drive through the rolling hills west and north of Ukiah (on your way to or from the coast)? You might spot one of these rare wild beasts (no guaranteed schedule … they’re wild).

Wild white deer inhabit the hills northwest of Ukiah. Charles Howard (owner of the famous race-horse Seabiscuit) purchased 53 deer from William Randolph Hearst and released them on Ridgewood Ranch (home of Seabiscuit). The deer didn’t feel obliged to stay on Ridgewood Ranch, and the feral herd grew. Fallow deer are native to Europe, and Mendocino County’s are “leucistic” (meaning they are white but not albino). Most frequently seen during the early morning hours, often grazing alongside black-tailed deer. (more information: https://mendofever.com/2023/01/24/a-glimpse-of-mendocino-countys-iconic-pure-white-fallow-deer-mendomoments/ )

Feral ponies live in the hills west of Ukiah. In the mid-1960s, psychiatrist Walso Cook surprised his family with a gift of ten pregnant Shetland ponies. Adding a stallion set the herd on a path of expansion. Cook sold off most of the pony herd through an auction by the mid-1970s, but some ponies escaped or were intentionally set free. And the herd grew. Locally dubbed the “Robinson Creek Ponies” these hardy beasts now number 200, but the herd is unlikely to grow (because of wild stallion neutering). (more information: https://www.wilburhotsprings.com/the-robinson-creek-ponies/ )

Ukiah is a friendly small city on the Russian River in Northern California. It’s the County seat and largest community in Mendocino County. Ukiah is on U.S. Highway 101, some 115 miles north of San Francisco and 145 miles northwest of Sacramento. Ukiah has an official California Welcome Center in the heart of its appealing downtown, at 200 S. School Street.
www.VisitUkiah.com or (707) 391-0474.

The Greater Ukiah Business and Tourism Alliance (GUBTA) is partnered with Visit California (the state’s designated tourism development organization) through the statewide California Welcome Center Initiative. California Welcome Centers provide resources and information to inspire visitors and locals to explore local regions and the state as a whole.

GUBTA and California Welcome Center | 200 School Street | Ukiah, CA 95482 |
| (707) 462.4705

Contact David Hance (530) 552-9471

Contact Katrina Kessen (707) 462-4705

SOURCE Greater Ukiah Business and Tourism Alliance