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For Texas landowners, breeding exotic animals is big business

When the rain began, the antelope and deer of the Y.O. Ranch Headquarters gathered to chew idly beneath the sparse trees. For 10 days in October 2018, a line of storms pounded the Texas Hill Country. Brown currents rose over a bridge on the ranch, spilling out over the roads and gullies of this 14,000-acre property 140 miles west of Austin. The flood tugged at the 8-foot fences around the ranch until it finally pulled them down.

That was when the kudu made their move, disappearing through the fallen perimeter fences on the ranch’s border. Native to Africa, the kudu is a brown-and-white-striped antelope species with long spiraling horns. The Y.O. Ranch population was ready for life on the lam. By the time ranch hands managed to repair the fences and conduct an animal count, virtually the whole herd—20 of 26 kudu—had escaped.

Read more from Asher Elbein with the Texas Observer here.