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Feeding exotic animals in the Texas Hill Country | Texas Outdoors

Texas has more exotic species than any other state, and you can see many of them from the comfort of your own vehicle.

JOHNSON CITY, Texas — It began with an interest in different animals, and has grown into a 270 acre, full-time zoo.

The Exotic Resort Zoo, just north of Johnson City, has roughly 700 animals from more than 40 different species.

Many of the animals are from Africa, Asia and other far off lands, but have acclimated quite nicely to Texas. 

"My mother is like Ellie Mae Clampett," said owner Donovan Trehan. The Louisiana transplant said, "She has bottle fed everything in the house you can think of."

On their ranch, they have camels, gemsbok, oryx, Scottish Highlander cattle, even white elk. When they started collecting the animals, it was just a hobby. But, when the money started to run out, Trehan's parents figured they could feed the animals by allowing people to see them.

Now, Trehan says they run through thousands of people a month. Normally, most like to take the tractor-pulled trailer tours, but since the pandemic, many people now opt to see the animals from the comfort of their personal vehicles.

"Our animals will come right up and eat out of your hand" says Trehan. And he believes that's what sets the Exotic Resort Zoo apart from other animal ranches. 

So many people now come, the zoo has built eight cabins you can rent and stay the night.

If you'd like to check out the zoo, or schedule a tour, click here. 

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