Ace the zebra, a neighborhood favorite and curiosity, passed away on Saturday, Nov. 10, after rapidly falling ill. Photo courtesy of Dave Belcher
Ace the zebra, a neighborhood favorite and curiosity, passed away on Saturday, Nov. 10, after rapidly falling ill. Photo courtesy of Dave Belcher
A neighborhood favorite and curiosity passed away on Saturday, Nov. 10, after rapidly falling ill. Ace, a well-known zebra in the community, died at age four.

Ace shared a two and a half-acre lot off the Silver Summit U.S. 40 exit with Chip, a miniature donkey, and Miss Billy, a buffalo.

"The kids come during the summer months right up to the fence. We have a little bit of grain they can feed them. The kids love them," owner Dave Belcher said.

Belcher believes Ace could have fallen sick after eating too many of the leaves raked up in the pasture. "The other animals were eating it and he might have eaten too much," Belcher said.

While out of town for a couple days, Belcher, who owns Parks City Towing, and his wife Raette, owner of Southwest Indian Traders on Main Street, received a call from a girl caring for the animals just before they returned.

"He was fine that morning but late that afternoon he got sick like he had the flu," Belcher said. "He just fell over and we couldn't get him up. We tried to get the vet, and the vet couldn't get over there in time. But the vet said he probably couldn't have saved him."

Belcher and Raette both come from small farms with wild animals, he said.

They first purchased goats to keep the weeds down. "They were entertaining. So we thought, let's get a miniature donkey. If you feed one, it doesn't matter if you feed six. So then we got a miniature donkey, and he was entertaining," Belcher said.

Before long, a friend said he knew of someone who had a baby buffalo. So they purchased the five-month-old baby animal and bottle-fed it for two years.

Shortly afterward, they were told where they could purchase a zebra. So they brought Ace home at four-months-old.

Belcher said, as herd animals, the trio had become very good friends over the years. "They were really buddies."

With Ace gone, the Belchers plan to purchase another zebra.

"With all the neighborhood kids that come by, we thought, we'll just have to get another one," he said.

Comments and memories about Ace can be left at www.facebook.com/ace.belcher .