According to a recent study conducted by many different animal rights’ organizations, Texas is home to more exotic and endangered wildlife than anywhere else on the planet. These aren’t wild native animals that we’re talking about here – Texas has some of the loosest laws and regulations regarding ownership and possession of exotic and endangered animals. This has resulted in a booming economy in the trade of exotic creatures amongst private individuals. There is much controversy surrounding this topic, with heated debate among the various sides. Less controversial are the numerous ranches, zoos, and research institutions that give a home to exotic animals acquired from other institutions, and refuge to animals who were obtained from irresponsible owners, or given up in exasperation at the price of maintaining such unique animals.
One such facility is the Sharkarosa Wildlife Ranch situated near Pilot Point, Texas. There are about thirty species represented, such as kangaroos, sloths, and a variety of monkeys. Some of the animals that they house are endangered species, like the Nubian Ibex, several lemur species, and a very strange creature called a binturong. The facility is open to the public from March through November, on Saturdays and Sundays only. They offer private tours for groups, for which reservations must be made 2 weeks beforehand.
Texas Disposal Systems possesses an animal ranch called the Exotic Game Ranch. Here, over 2,000 people from 100 species live, which represent six of the seven continents. Some of them are especially exotic animals that could only be observed in a couple of areas around the world: Barbary Sheep, Black Rhino, Fossa, Grevey Zebra, and all kinds of antelope. The TDS Exotic Game Ranch hosts many community fundraiser events, leading back to the community significantly each year.
The Exotic Resort Zoo near Johnson City, Texas, is located on 137 acres of land and is exceptional in that it is a combination zoo, safari land, and resort. Visitors can stay in cabins overlooking various animal enclosures, which makes for an especially romantic experience. Zoo tours and safaris run each day of the week, and extend close-up encounters with friendly and curious Buffalo, Camel, Giraffe, Zebra, and more. A petting zoo lets adults and children of all ages to touch friendly kangaroos, llamas, and deer species. The zoo has over 500 individuals from around 80 unique species, showing a wide assortment of diversity which always awes visitors.
Texas is a big state with plenty of property, and therefore there are many places in which to visit and interact with unusual wild animals. The afore-mentioned are terrific places to visit for a start, and with a little internet searching of your own, you are sure to discover even more exotic animal ranches to visit in Texas!