Meet the Zoo Crew!

Dennis Bacque
President & Owner
  1. How would you describe your job title? The Brains
  2. How long have you been with us? Forever; I started to develop the property in 1992.
  3. What is your favorite animal and why? My favorite animal ever was the Louisiana Black Bear, Teddy, that Marilyn and I raised from a cub. She inspired the decor in Cabin #1 (Bear's Den).
  4. If you could be any animal, what would you be and why? I would be a Bull Elk because they're the biggest and the baddest.
  5. What is your favorite thing about working here? Seeing the growth over the years and watching all of our hard work come to fruition.
  6. If you could live in one of the cabins, which one would you pick and why? Cabin #5 (Elk Lodge) because of the spectacular view it offers from the second floor.
  7. What is your favorite time of year? Spring; It is warm and all the animals and visitors are so happy.
Marilyn Bacque
Owner
  1. How would you describe your job title? Momma to all; Animals and Employees!
  2. How long have you been with us? Since the beginning. My husband and I developed the property and started collecting animals in the 90's.
  3. What is your favorite animal and why? This is a hard one. It used to be the Elk, because of my beloved Dottie. But, now it is the Red Kangaroo because they have a very loving and bonding nature. 
  4. If you could be any animal, what would you be and why? I would be a Red Kangaroo because it would be so convenient to have a pouch to keep my things. I would not constantly misplace stuff!
  5. What is your favorite thing about working here? My animals always come first. But I love watching our visitors enjoy my babies. I have met some wonderful people during my time in this business. 
  6. If you could live in one of our cabins, which one would you pick and why? Cabin #5 (Elk Lodge) because of the view. My husband worked really hard to build a two-story cabin and I think his plans were executed perfectly.
  7. What is your favorite time of year? Spring time because so many babies are being born!
Donavan Trahan
Co-Owner and Manager
  1. How would you describe your job title? Jack of all trades; Master of none
  2. How long have you been with us? 20 years
  3. What is your favorite animal and why? My favorite animal is the Greater Kudu Antelope. They're so tall and majestic.
  4. If you could be any animal what would you be? I don't want to be an animal. A meat eater might eat me. Or my friend, Logan, might hunt me and turn me to sausage.
  5. What is your favorite thing about working here? I enjoy working here because I get to do something different everyday. In the 20 years that I have been here, I can honestly say that I have never been bored.
  6. If you could live in one of our cabins, which one would you pick and why? Cabin #2 (Safari Hut) because it is right by the pool.
  7. What is your favorite time of year? Spring!
Amanda Trahan
Office Representative & Marketing Strategist
  1. How would you describe your job title? The errand-runner
  2. How long have you been with us? I lend a helping hand during peak season when we're busy. So, I have been in and out of the office for a few years now!
  3. What is your favorite animal and why? The Greater Kudu because they are so beautiful.
  4. If you could be any animal what would you be? I would be a Llama. They're so cute. And they spit on mean people.
  5. What is your favorite thing about working here? I love getting to work with my husband. It is so much fun... sometimes.
  6. If you could live in one of our cabins, which one would you pick and why? I would pick Cabin #5 (Elk Lodge) because of the view.
  7. What is your favorite time of year? I like spring time.
Kayli Trahan
Tour Guide & Marketing Strategist
  1. How would you describe your job title? Tour Guide/Animal Feeder/Errand Runner/Social Media Strategist... Would you like me to continue?
  2. How long have you been with us? From birth. Literally. I started running the front desk as soon as I could push buttons on the register. Eventually, I started giving tours when I was 13!
  3. What is your favorite animal and why? I love the Red Kangaroos. They are my favorite because they are my Granny's favorite. She's my best friend and I have always loved to watch her raise the Joeys and show so much love and affection to them.
  4. If you could be any animal what would you be? I would be a Sulcata Tortoise because they sleep all day.
  5. What is your favorite thing about working here? I have really enjoyed watching the business grow. Every year, we have more and more visitors. It is so beautiful to watch my family's hard work start to pay off.
  6. If you could live in one of our cabins, which one would you pick and why? Cabin #1 (Bear's Den) because it has an awesome front deck to watch the sunsets and sunrises. It is also closest to the Buffalo Pasture and I think that is neat.
  7. What is your favorite time of year? Any time that the weather is warm and we're busy! 
Tammy Norris
Tour Guide
  1. How would you describe your job title? Awesome! I get to take care of animals from all over the world and get to meet wonderful people.
  2. What is your favorite animal and why? The Greater Kudu are my favorite. They are odd looking but beautiful and they are also our logo. 
  3. If you could be any animal, what would you be? I would be the Ring-Tailed Lemur. They are pretty and no matter how old you get, you still play and have fun, and they are always embracing the sun. 
  4. What is your favorite thing about working here? The owners; they are my family and I love them just like my own. We have been there for each other for so many years and they are SO good to their animals. Also, no matter how bad of a day you are having, to be around these beautiful animals and knowing they don't care what you look like; they just love you and depend on you. It has such a way of calming you. 
  5. If you could live in one of our cabins, which one would you pick and why? I would pick Cabin #8 (The Outback Shack) because the kitchen is beautiful and bright. I also love the 2 bedrooms and bathrooms right across from each other.
  6. What is your favorite time of year? Late Spring (April) and early Fall (September) is my favorite. 
Donna McManus
Tour Guide
  1. How would you describe your job title? The Workhorse.
  2. How long have you been with us? About 10 years.
  3. What is your favorite animal and why? Cody the Coatimundi. He's an absolute jerk to everyone but me.
  4. If you could be any animal what would you be? I would be Cody the Coatimundi because I could be an absolute jerk to everyone and still be cute.
  5. What is your favorite thing about working here? My favorite thing about working here is being outside with the animals and all the great people!
  6. If you could live in one of our cabins, which one would you pick and why? None. I would pitch a tent at Anthony's Creek.
  7. What is your favorite time of year? Spring and summer.
Nicole Scheisl
Tour Guide
  1. How would you describe your job title? Zoologist, Tour Guide and Wildlife Educator
  2. How long have you been with us? Since September of 2016.
  3. What is your favorite animal and why? The Ring-Tailed Lemurs are my favorite because they are smart, funny and personable. I admire them because they stay close to all members of their troop and watch out for one another.
  4. If you could be any animal what would you be? I would be any type of bird. They are social, elegant, smart and unpredictable.
  5. What is your favorite thing about working here? I love staying busy and working with the animals. Most of all, I love working for people that are admirable, ambitious, heart-filled in teaching and training and family oriented. Team work makes the dream work! This is by far the best place I have ever worked and I never want to leave!
  6. If you could live in one of our cabins, which one would you pick and why? I would pick Cabin #6 (Dottie's Place) because it has plenty room for my family of seven. It is so spacious and beautiful.
  7. What is your favorite time of year? End of Summer, beginning of Fall is my favorite!
Kaitlyn Paras
Tour Guide
  1. How would you describe your job title? Tour Guide and Cleaning Lady!
  2. How long have you been with us? Since October of 2018.
  3. What is your favorite animal and why? My favorite animal at the zoo is the Eland Antelope because they are super gentle despite their size, especially our big female.
  4. If you could be any animal what would you be? I would be a Scimitar-Horned Oryx because they can raise their body temperature to 116 degrees Fahrenheit - This would be quite handy during the summer. Plus, they have awesome horns!
  5. What is your favorite thing about working here? My favorite thing about working here is definitely bottle-feeding the babies. I also love when it rains and you see the camels slipping and sliding in the mud!
  6. If you could live in one of our cabins, which one would you pick and why? I would pick Cabin #6 (Dottie's Place) because it was named after the beautiful Elk that started it all. It is also very pretty and spacious on the inside.
  7. What is your favorite time of year? Spring break!
Guliana Biasetto
Tour Guide
  1.  How would you describe your job title? Tour Guide and Wildlife Educator
  2. How long have you been with us? Since May of 2019!
  3. What is your favorite animal and why? The Scottish Highlander Cattle because they have crazy hair just like me!
  4. If you could be any animal, what would you be and why? Maybe a baby Lemur, because they get away with a lot of shenanigans. 
  5. What is your favorite thing about working here? I genuinely love working with the animals and the camaraderie amongst the staff.
  6. If you could live in one of the cabins, which one would you pick and why? I cannot decide decide because all of them are so wonderful and unique. 
  7. What is your favorite time of year? Spring time because the zoo is so beautiful that time of year, and their are so many babies being born!
Logan Giles
Ranch Hand
  1. How would you describe your job title? Ranch Hand
  2. How long have you been with us? 8ish Months!
  3. What is your favorite animal and why? My favorite is the camels because they make a lot of goofy noises and they are very gentle giants. They love attention and they never forget to come say hi!
  4. If you could be any animal what would you be? I would be an Elk. I love the mountains and the giant trees and all the colors of Fall.
  5. What is your favorite thing about working here? My favorite thing about working here is being around the animals.
  6. If you could live in one of our cabins, which one would you pick and why? Cabin #5 (Elk Lodge) because the view of the zoo from the second floor is awesome.
  7. What is your favorite time of year? Spring!
Megan Brown
Tour Guide
  1. How would you describe your job title? Anything and everything... Zoo Keeper, Tour Guide, Landscaper, Cabin Cleaner!
  2. How long have you been with us? One month!
  3. What is your favorite animal and why? I love our Kangaroos because they are so fluffy and sweet. I also love Elephants because they are just amazing in general.
  4. If you could be any animal what would you be? I would be an African Crested Porcupine because they float when they swim and they keep the haters away!
  5. What is your favorite thing about working here? I like being able to work outdoors and spend time with the animals.
  6. If you could live in one of our cabins, which one would you pick and why? I would pick Cabin #6 (Dottie's Place) because it fits the most family and friends and it has the coolest murphy beds!
  7. What is your favorite time of year? I like Fall & Halloween!
Logan Cantwell
Ranch Hand
  1. How would you describe your job title? Ranch Hand
  2. How long have you been with us? On and off throughout high school and college, but now I work full time and then some... probably about 6 years total now!
  3. What is your favorite animal and why? I like the Greater Kudu Antelope. They are so majestic!
  4. If you could be any animal what would you be? I would be a giraffe. So I could always have the best view.
  5. What is your favorite thing about working here? I like being able to work outdoors! I also enjoy being able to work on something different everyday. There is always something new at the zoo!
  6. If you could live in one of our cabins, which one would you pick and why? I would pick Cabin #8 because it is the biggest and the newest!
  7. What is your favorite time of year? I like summer!
Kelsi Hugonnett
Tour Guide in Training

Picture is pending.

  1. How would you describe your job title? Since I started during COVID-19, I'm currently still learning everything and don't have one specific title.
  2. How long have you been with us? Only a month, but hopefully many more to come!
  3. What is your favorite animal and why? I love the goats! They're so cute; I wish I could take one home. 
  4. If you could be any animal what would you be? I would be one of the camels because they get all the attention. 
  5. What is your favorite thing about working here? I love being around the animals, but my favorite thing is seeing how excited the kids get about the animals.
  6. If you could live in one of our cabins, which one would you pick and why? I would pick Cabin #8 because it is the biggest and I could fit all my friends with me!
  7. What is your favorite time of year? The Fall. I love when it's cool outside and the leaves are falling.

Contact Us!

235 Zoo Trail - Johnson City, Texas 78636

Phone: (830)868-4357

Check the Weather!

Johnson City
83°
Sunny
WedThuFri
min 70°F
92/70°F
92/70°F