Some faces you’ll see along the way…

Penned Animals

These animals can be found in large pens before you enter the open range. They are only separated for their protection, or the protection of other animals out on the open range! They are on a special diet, so don’t throw any feed into their enclosure!

Lowland Tapir

Hi there!

My name is Tyler and I am a Lowland Tapir. I am a little over a year old and still get two big ol baby bottles each day. I just might be the WEIRDEST animal here at the zoo, as my closest cousins are the Rhino and Horse. But, I have no family resemblance. I kind of look like a pig with a mini elephant nose and human teeth. I will also grow to about 4 feet tall at the shoulder. Right now, you'll find me in the baby area of our petting zoo while my zoo crew works on a bigger and better enclosure for me! 

Bennett's Wallaby

We’re the most common species of Wallaby that you’ll find. We run wild in Australia, New Guinea and New Zealand! Basically, we are a smaller and darker version of our cousin, the Kangaroo, that you will find later during the ride! We are also known as the red-necked wallaby. Like kangaroos, we have hind limbs that are markedly larger and stronger than our forelimbs and our tails are long, thick and used as an aid for balancing. We are mainly active at dawn and/or at dusk (crepuscular), which may be an adaptation to reduce predation or as a way of avoiding thermal stress while capitalizing on available light! We are on a special diet, so save your pellets for somebody else!

Dama Gazelle

You’ll spot our stunning white and red coat on your right. You also can’t miss our beautiful long dainty legs! Because of our slender features, we are known as the “Ballerina Gazelle” and we think we’re pretty graceful and elegance to hold up such a nickname! We are one of the most endangered species of gazelle, so currently, we are more populous here in the Hill Country than in our homeland of Northern Africa! The word "gazelle" derives from "gazal", an Arabic word, frequently used in love poems... It's easy to fall in love with us just by looking at our beauty! If we come close enough to the fence, feel free to throw us some snacks.

Greater Kudu Antelope

We are the inspiration for the Exotic Resort Zoo’s logo… Our male has the most beautiful set of spirally horns that you have ever seen! So, we guess you can say, we are one of the favorites around here! We are the second largest of all antelope species. We also have horrible eyesight, but make up for that with excellent hearing – hence our huuuuuge ears that are always listening… The traditional sport of Kudu dung-spitting  is practiced in the South African Afrikaner community, thats right, dung-spitting. The winner is the contestant who is able to spit one of the antelope’s small, hard dung pellets the furthest – with the distance measured to where it comes to rest. An annual world championship was launched in 1994, with contests held at community events, game festivals and tourism shows. The world record stands at 15.56m, set in 2006 by Shaun van Rensburg Addo! That's like watermelon seed spitting, on steroids!

Springbok Gazelle

We’re dainty and tan in color so it might be hard to spot us. We are native to South Africa, in fact, we are the South African symbol kind of like the Bald Eagle is for America! We got our amazing name from our ability to jump as high as 13 feet in the air! We are also one of the fastest animals on the planet, reaching the speed of 60 miles per hour!! We have a pocket-like, flap of skin on our rump which conceals a white crest. We can erect the flap of skin and expose the white crest to alert others of danger in the area! It's like flying a flag, from our booty!

Petting Zoo

You'll cruise right past our petting zoo, caged animal and picnic area. You can roam around here and spend as long as they'd like under the shade of huge oak trees before or after your ride. Please park at the gift shop to enjoy. If you look closely you may see our Ring-Tailed Lemurs jumpin' around their enclosure, or our African-Crested Porcupines and Coatimundis taking a snooze. 

Every Pasture

Here are some animals you will see in all the pens today! The animals are free roaming, so they may not approach your vehicle in the order this list implies. We just want to do our best to educate you guys on the animals you are seeing!

Fallow Deer

You will see us in every pen today! There is a lot of us out here and we’re not shy at all! Feed us with a flat and open hand. We just ended baby season out here, so keep an eye out for our little ones along the way. Our males are starting to Rut already, this means breeding season for next year's babies. Because of this you will see some fallow bucks fighting with each other over the ladies or the snacks! It is totally normal during this time of year! We’re originally native to Europe. Also, we are found in three different colors: chocolate, white and spotted. Our bucks make huge, flat antlers that they lose when breeding season ends. So, if you see some antler sheds on the ground, it's normal. In any deer species, antlers fall off and grow back every year.

Axis Deer

We are a little darker than the Fallow Deer and we have vibrant white polka dots! We’re one of the few species of deer that hang on to our “Bambi spots” throughout our entire lifetime. We are native to Asia, originally, but now were very popular here in Texas. In fact, we’re ranked the #1 most populous exotic here! You’ll also find us in every pen today! You’ll notice our bucks have some nice, velvety antlers right now. That’s because they’re growing! When they are done growing, the velvet peels off like a sticker so we can enter breeding season with a set of hard antlers later. 

Blackbuck Antelope

We’re the little dainty guys that you’ll find in every pen. The females are tan in color with a white belly, but the males get much darker! This occurs with testosterone to impress the ladies and is also the namesake of our species. The most striking feature of blackbucks is the long, spiraling horns of the adult male which have ridges from the base to almost the tips. They can grow as long as 20-24 inches. The longest horns on record measure more than 28 inches! Females do not possess horns. We were over-hunted close to extinction in our homeland back in the 90’s, but remained off of the endangered species list because there is so many of us here in Texas! Currently, there’s over 30,000 of us here and we’re ranked the 3rd most populous exotic.

Sika Deer

You’ll see us in most of the pens today. We’re solid brown in color and our males have real long, skinny antlers. Sika deer’s name comes from "shika", the Japanese word for "deer". In Japan the species is known as the nihonjika, meaning "Japan deer" or "Japanese Deer". We are originally native to Japan, but were brought to Europe early in the 1900’s and interbred there. Currently, there is over 14 types of Sika Deer! We also make some crazy noises. A male during the mating season makes a long, drawn-out whistling cry which sounds like a siren. They also make groans and sounds like blowing raspberries. Females make a bleat that sounds like a goat when contacting their young. Sika deer make a short, high-pitched bark when alarmed. In fact, we make over 100 unique sounds to communicate with our friends!

Greater Rhea

Although rheas look similar to ostriches, they are much smaller. They also have three toes on each foot, while ostriches have two. The rhea has a long neck and long legs. A rhea's head, neck and thighs are covered with feathers, but the bird has no tail feathers. Its plumage is mostly gray and brown with white underparts. Rheas cannot fly, but they have unusually long wings for flightless birds. They use their wings like an airplane rudder to help them dodge predators and for balance while running.We are most commonly found with gray feathers, but here, you’ll spot a pair of White Rhea too! Remember, you do not want to hand feed us, but you can throw some food on the ground. Apparently, we only have a brain the size of a green pea, so we run on pure instinct! You’ll continue to see us throughout the rest of your adventure!

Emu

You’ll see a few of us in every pen today! We’re shaped like a football and have real soft brown feathers. You do not want to hand-feed us, but if we come up to your vehicle, throw some pellets on the ground and watch us peck it up! We have been ‘clocked’ at 31mph and can run great distances too, if needs be. Even though we are flightless, we still have some tiny, little wings. We use them to cool down and we stretch them out and allow air to move around our body. We also use our little wings when running at top speed to steer ourselves in the right direction. If you listen closely during your ride, you just might hear the females boom like a bass drum and the males whistling to their own tune! 

Sheep

In every pen, you'll find two different species of sheep! The black ones are called a Black Hawaiian. The males have horns that can weigh up to 30 pounds, which is more than all the bones in their body combined. Black Hawaiian Sheep are considered a hair or shedding sheep. These sheep actually have two coats: a hair type coat and usually a more wooly undercoat. The undercoat may resemble a thicker hair to a more wool type look and texture. This undercoat grows during cool weather and will naturally shed off when warmer weather arrives. The white ones are called Texas Dalls. They were created by cross breeding different species of sheep here in Texas! One of the most distinctive features of Texas Dall is that they are completely white with horns and hooves that are typically colorless as well. That alone makes Texas Dall look different from many of Corsican sheep hybrids like black Hawaiian, desert sand and painted desert. Their snow white appearance makes them easy to spot and also makes them one of the most beautiful Corsican sheep breeds. You'll see sheep like us in all the pastures today!

The Camel Pen

Dromedary Camel

Hey there! We’re sure that you’ll spot us quickly. Our names are Cooper and Cayden! We are both Dromedary Camels. You can hand feed us with a big handful of feed, but watch your bag because we might steal it! We are native to Africa and traditionally used as pack animals, so we would travel for very long periods at a time carrying luggage and other goodies to various locations. Check out our luscious long eyelashes, these keep desert sand out of our eyes. We also have huge padded feet and double jointed knees to travel in the desert sands easier! So, we are a very well equipped desert animal.

Sable Antelope

We are in the very last holding pen on your right... and sometimes we hide in the back corner, so look very hard until you spot us! We are new to the zoo, so the cedar pens will be our home for a while as we get used to all the traffic! We are called Sable Antelope. We are the last antelope that shares genes with the now-extinct Bluebuck Antelope. As we grow older, we change color. Our calves are born reddish-brown, with virtually no markings. As they age, the white markings appear, and the rest of our coat gets darker — the older the animal, the more striking the contrast! We are not currently endangered, however, it is very hard to find us in the States! So, I guess you could consider us rare! 

The Zebra Pen

Grant Zebra

Do NOT feed us – we bite! Drop some food on the ground for us and we will eat it from there. We are a subspecies of the African Plains Zebra. Every one of us has our own unique stripe pattern, kinda how each of you have your own finger print! You’d think our stripes would make us stand out in the wild, however, we’re actually one of the best camouflaged animals in the world because we blend in beautifully on almost any background! There’s only three of us here, a male and two females. Zoro, the male, lets out a super smelly musk when he is trying to impress one of his ladies! So if you smell something funky back here, its just our zebra and not your neighbor!

Common Elk

Elk are also called wapiti. This is a Native American word meaning "light-colored deer," according to National Geographic. Bulls grow new antlers every year. New antlers are covered with a soft coating called velvet. When the males fight for mates they rub off all of their velvet by bashing their antlers together during fights of dominance. We’ll probably be hanging out by the hay bale. There’s a few of us in here! We are solid brown in color and have beautiful big eyes! The Exotic Resort Zoo really loves us because we were the first type of animal they ever started collecting about 25 years ago. Read more about how they got started on the ‘About Our Zoo‘ page in the top menu!

Jacob's Sheep (Four-Horned Sheep)

We're the crazy looking sheep that have FOUR horns! We also rock some really cool spotted coats of thick fur. You may worry about us with all this fur in this Texas heat... however, we are completely acclimated to it! Our fur naturally falls off in big clumps as the heat of summer comes in, and grows thicker to keep us warm during the winter. Sheep with spots have been described in many cultures throughout history, appearing in works of art from the Far East, Middle East, and Mediterranean regions. Among these accounts is the Biblical story of Jacob, who bred spotted sheep and for whom this breed is named! How neat-o is that?

The Ostrich Pen

African Ostrich

You really don’t want to hand-feed us, we peck! We’re the largest of all flightless bird species, standing as tall as 10 foot when fully grown! Our females lay some biiiiig eggs to match, coming in at 20-24 times the size of a chicken egg. (And if you are wondering, they take up to two hours to hard boil…..) The males have dark black feathers and the females carry some dusty brown feathers! This is used as a camouflaging technique while we nest - the females sit on the eggs during the day, blending in with the sand, and the males take over at night,blending in with the night sky. A cool fun fact about us, is that our eyeball is three times the size of our brain! So, we run on pure instinct! 

Eland Antelope

We are the biggest species of antelope in the entire world! We’re gentle giants, so you are more than welcome to feed us. Our big bull is named Eli and our females are named Eleanor, Elisabeth and Emma. We will come right up for a snack! In fact, we are infamous around here for sticking our whole head into your car... so, watch your bags of feed! We don’t vocalize a lot of sounds, but we will make a click-clack sound from our ankles to communicate with one another. Morris Code, anyone?

Aoudad Sheep

You’ll find a ton of us back here! We’ve got some big rams, a lot of females and a whole bunch of babies! You are more than welcome to hand-feed us. This species has been inappropriately called a sheep, although recent genetic information reveals that it is much more closely related to wild goats.We are excellent climbers. If you check out our eyeball, you’ll notice that we have a really long pupil. That gives us excellent peripheral vision while we are up in the slopes so we can keep up with any nearby predators. In fact, we can nearly see a whole 180 degrees around us clearly! The long hair above our knees are called Cowboy Chaps around here! Yee-Haw!

Asian Water Buffalo

Hey there! The water buffalo, or Asian buffalo, as it is often called, is the largest member of the Bovini tribe, which includes yak, bison, African buffalo, various species of wild cattle, and others. We’re probably hiding in our pond if its a hot summer day… but if you spot us, be sure to throw us some snacks! Their wide-splayed hoofed feet prevent them from sinking too deeply in the mud and allow them to move about in wetlands and swamps. These marshes provide good cover and rich aquatic plants to forage on, although water buffalo actually prefer to feed in grasslands on grass and herbs. We are native to Southeast Asia and were domesticated yeaaaars ago! We have been a lot of help when it comes to plowing rice farms, because we are very strong and very accustomed to muddy and swampy conditions.

Mouflon Sheep

Mouflon are wild sheep, a species regarded as one of the two original ancestors of modern-day sheep. Our coat is reddish-brown and short-haired, and a dark stripe runs along our back, with lighter colored patches on the side. A mouflon's horns grow throughout its life. Their size determines the status of the animal within the group, with larger horns ensuring a higher position and therefore greater dominance. We are very wary animals... so you might have to look hard into the trees to find us. Don't mistake us for the not-so-shy Aodad sheep though! 

The Buffalo Pen

The Addax Pen

The Last Pen

(The Oryx & Scotties Pen)

Scottish Highlander Cattle

We’re the big, shaggy cows you’ll find in the very last pen. We hope that you saved us some food! You can feed us by holding a huge handful over our mouths, we’ll stick out our tongue and let you drop it right in! We are native to Scotland! Traditionally, raised for our beef there because we are so muscular. In fact, we are the oldest registered beef cattle! We can be found in many different colors, but red is the most popular. Anthony is the biggest Scottish Highlander, he is our bull. He’s only about 6 years old, but acts like an old man! Sophia is our youngest Scottish Highlander, born back in July– so, she might be a little shy! Our other two Scottish Highlanders are some more females, Olivia and Audra! 

Père David Deer

Père David’s deer is no ordinary deer. With giant antlers atop a head shaped like a horse, the animal has a donkey’s tail, and hooves like a cow but with webbing between the toes for swimming. If that’s not extraordinary enough, the Père David's deer were hunted to extinction in their native China during the late 19th century, but were saved from total extinction by Europeans who had taken specimens back to zoos in France and Germany and successfully bred the deer in captivity! In fact, all Père David's deer that are alive today are believed to descend from these! We have four females out here... they are quite shy. If you get lucky enough for them to make an appearance, make sure you throw them some feed so we can keep working on their social skills!

Scimitar Horned Oryx

We’re the beautiful white and red animals with the looooooooong symmetrical horns. We may not eat directly out of your hand because were kind of shy – so, throw us some snacks please! It is actually believed that we inspired the legend of the unicorn with our horns! They are so symmetrical that from the side, it looks like we only have one! The tips of our horns are so sharp! They make for a good defense mechanism, but also they make for the perfect built-in back scratcher. You can easily see that all of our females are fat as can be... that is because we are expected babies soon! Fingers crossed we get blessed with some little ones in the next few weeks.

Waterbuck Antelope

The Waterbuck is a large, robust animal with long, shaggy hair and a brown-gray coat that emits an oily secretion from its sweat glands, which acts as a water repellent. It also has large, rounded ears and white patches above the eyes, and around the nose and mouth and throat. We nicknamed ours, the 'Target Antelope' because they have white fur that looks like a target on their booty! A few days before calving, the mother will isolate herself in the thickets. After birth, it will take the newborn around half an hour to stand on its feet and to have its first suckle. The young calves will remain hidden in the thickets for around two to four weeks before they join their mother in the fields. Ours are still a little new here, but we are working on their people skills.. so if you see them nearby, be sure to throw them some snacks!

Farewell!

You’ll exit from the Oryx Pen.

We hope that you enjoyed your visit with us. We are truly appreciative of you supporting our small business during this time. Thank you!

We can’t wait to see you again!

Post your pictures to our Instagram @exoticresortzoo or Facebook @AdventureZooSafari!