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Stay Inside a Wildlife Preserve

December 27th, 2011 • by Sandy Zimmerman

(Photos by Sandy Zimmerman) 

Northern California has so much to offer especially their animal experiences. I drove around three hours from the San Francisco airport to Point Arena to see the B. Bryan Preserve Wildlife Foundation. 

They are dedicated to the conservation of African hoof animals. Dr. Frank Mello, the founder, explained, “This is not a zoo but a private breeding conservation center where we focus on three species of zebra and three species of antelopes which are rare and endangered.

We can’t get close to the animals because they are all wild and we want to keep them that way.” Frank does stay away from the animals!

The preserve provides a lot of space similar to their native habitat. With 110 acres, each species of animals live in large fenced areas but only the zebras are allowed out at night to roam around the cabins and near the exceptionally large pond.


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Stay Inside a Wildlife Preserve (Continued)

              

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#1 of 2 feature articles                        about the B. Bryan Preserve Wildlife,
see also "A Cottage Near Wild Animals";

 

Whenever the guests drive in and out of the property, they must lock the gates so the animals cannot escape into the town.

The highlight of each day is the antelope and zebra's feeding time, usually at 4:30 pm, when Frank packs hay and other animal food in his 1973 Land Rover and the guests join him on the feeding tour.      

Feeding around 60-70 animals is quite a task and he has everything organized. Frank opens each fence and drives inside to the hut or wherever the animals usually eat. He fills the bin with food and walks back to the hut's entrance. The guests are told to stand with him, watch and take pictures. Several of the animals slowly enter the hut perhaps making sure there is no danger awaiting them. Now is the time to photograph the animals. No one is allowed to walk near the antelopes or zebras but it is still a thrill to see them. 


The cabins face the exceptionally large pond and are really like small houses with a kitchen, dining area, living room, two bedrooms, private bathroom, porch, and outside hot tub. Frank uses recycled furnishings like his stained glass windows, doors, pull- chain toilets, flooring, a 130 year- old staircase, and more. The cottages are solar heated.



You can join Frank on his wild animal feeding tour whether you are a guest in his cabins or just come for the tour by reservations only. Adults- $20, Children under 10 years- $10.   

Dr. Frank Mello has been preserving African hoof stock since 1998. Among his animals, there are fewer than 2,000 of the long-legged and social Grevy's zebras left in the world.  www.bbryanpreserve.com

CALIFORNIA

There is so much to see in California. You can visit 10-20 times and still not see everything.   www.visitcalifornia.com

RECOMENDATIONS

Rollerville Cafe, near the Lighthouse, Point Arena: (707)-882-2077.    www.rollervillecafe.com


Pirate's Cove Restaurant, authentic Mexican and American food, Point Arena:   (707)-882-4105;

The Farmhouse Inn, near Napa and Sonoma: www.farmhouseinn.com


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