To our valued costumers, thank you!
One thing has been certain over the last 24 years – and that is our appreciation and gratitude to our valued customers. Because of you, we are living our dream by growing and developing this Texan Safari into the unique experience that it is today!
As an independently-owned and operated business, the continual support and loyalty of guests just like you, make it possible for us at The Exotic Resort Zoo to raise these beloved animals and share them with the public.
Our story goes like this…
The Exotic Resort Zoo was established in 1995, after a couple of crazy cajuns fell in love with the Texas Hill Country. Dennis and Marilyn Bacque found the perfect retirement getaway here in Johnson City – the sprawling 137 acres was only supposed to be a private retreat… However, their plans changed after Marilyn brought home a baby Canadian Elk named Dottie.
Dottie quickly became the center of attention. She soon inspired Dennis and Marilyn to travel the United States to acquire more animal friends to keep her company. After a few short months, the couple had collected over 100 exotic animals!
Now, we’ll be the first to tell you that animals eat a lot of food. The resources were growing thin when it came to taking care of these precious animals. That’s when Dennis struck the idea of a lifetime: A public safari park.
Dennis quickly purchased an old Bronco Scout, cut the top off and gave it some hand-painted zebra stripes. He personally toured seven people at a time through the park. All the while, continuing to develop the property by clearing the land to add roads, fences and buildings. Dennis and Marilyn truly worked their tails off.
Over time, the couple enlarged their tour vehicles as more and more people visited the park. Now, our tractor-trams can hold a whopping 40 visitors at a time and we have a total of 5 trams!
Dennis and Marilyn are still found at the center of it all – however, now with the help of their son, Donavan, and a few more loyal employees to keep up with the abundance of work that running a safari park entails. We have also since lost our precious Dottie due to old age, but her incredible spirit remains an inspiration and testament of all that we are here at the Exotic Resort Zoo.
If you visited us throughout the years, you may also recognize a few more special characters that we have loved and lost throughout our many years in the business: Omar and Humphrey the Camels, Olivia the Oryx, Tiny Tim the Watusi, Albert the Kangaroo and even Sue the North American Bison. Unfortunately in this line of work, sometimes we see tragedies – but there is one thing that we stand firm in: our animals are given the best life here at the Exotic Resort Zoo because they are truly an extension of our ever-growing family.
Come create some memories that will last a lifetime with us. We can’t wait to share our special critters with you and yours!