Did you know there is a wild animal park practically in Sierra Vista’s backyard? It’s true. You and your family can take a little safari at the Bayou Wildlife Zoo in Alvin.
The zoo began as an exotic game ranch purchased by Clint Wolston in 1985. At the time, it housed 170 animals and 36 species of birds. The animals were free to roam across the land. Today, although the zoo recently changed ownership, animals still roam free, but now there are more than 500 of them.
The 80-acre park features animals from 19 different countries. Visitors have opportunities to get up close and personal with them via a 30- to 40-minute guided tram ride around the park with stops to feed some of them on the way. (The food is $4 per bucket.)
Animals at the zoo include zebras, a zonkey (the offspring of a donkey and zebra), ostriches, emus, giraffes, camels, alligators, small kangaroos, ring-tailed lemurs, rare breeds of cattle and deer.
In addition to the tram, families can head over Addie Lou’s Barnyard to see wallabies, Pygmy goats and lemurs. The Red Barn houses giraffes and baby animals in need of bottle feeding. The Bayou General Store located in the barn sells drinks, snacks and souvenirs. Guests are welcome to bring their own picnic lunches.
The Bayou Wildlife Zoo is located at 5050 FM 517 Road. Hours are 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday. Prices are $22 adults, $12 for children ages 2-11 and free for ages 2 and under.