DICKINSON, Texas - What may look like an African savannah or the Australian outback is actually 80 acres near Alvin, Texas called Bayou Wildlife Zoo.
“I opened in ’86,” said owner, Clint Wolston. “I’ve been here 31 years.”
But 80-year-old Wolston is ready to retire. He has put his menagerie on the market for $7 million.
“There’s about 86 different species of animals and birds in the park,” said Wolston.
About 500 animals come with the land, barns and trams that transport tourists through the drive-thru zoo.
“I hope whoever buys this place keeps it open cause it would be a shame to close it,” said one visitor.
We loaded up on Wolston’s golf cart for a personal tour. Wolston sad he’s sad to let it go.
“Cause I worked so hard to make it a good one,” he said. He says most of the animals are used to people.
But running the zoo is a tall order, said Wolston. It costs about a million dollars a year and $6,000 is spent each month on food alone.
But the zoo still ends up turning a healthy profit.
“It was a lot of fun putting it all together, buying the animals, setting up the pens,” said Wolston.
He hopes whoever takes it over cares as much about the animals as the money.
So far, Wolston says he’s heard from eight potential buyers.
Most of the animals came from other zoos, parks, or exotic animal ranches which are regulated by the USDA and other agencies.