Why are you doing this and how did you get started?
Frank is originally from California and met Judy in Mississippi through work. In 1998, Frank went to West Texas and fell in love with Sable antelope, so much so that he brought some back to Judy’s family ranch in Mississippi. That was the beginning of B Bryan Preserve. In 2004, Frank retired from corporate life and Judy had an opportunity to move out West with her work. They loaded up 11 animals and moved to their new home in Point Arena. The hobby slowly became a passion. In 2008, B Bryan Preserve in conjunction with B Bryan Wildlife Foundation has over 60 animals, each with their own personal name.
Frank and Judy both grew up around domestic animals and Judy’s love for Africa pushed them in that direction. Both recognize the plight of the animals in their native habitat and are eager to help.
Where do you get your animals?
Most of the animals at B Bryan Preserve came from zoo’s or other private organizations. Many zoos are short on space or change their collection and need a home for them. These are not rescue animals.
Are they tame? Can we pet them?
All of our animals are still relatively wild. Each species is in their own separate large field that is similar to their native habitat. They still have a small amount of fear and keep their distance. The type of animals we house are not conducive to taming or petting. The Sable and Roan antelope breeds are so powerful that they have been known to kill lions and hyenas when attacked. Zebra may look cute, but they have a powerful kick and a mouth full of big teeth!
Our tours are conducted at our feeding time only so that you can get as close as safely possible to the animals as they are on their best behavior and near the barns.
Why are they endangered?
The two species of Zebra we have, Hartmann’s Mountain and Grevy’s, are both on the endangered and critically endangered species list. Most animals are placed on the list due to human conflict. There are now less than 2,500 Grevy’s left in the wild. In some isolated areas, for example, Grevy’s zebra meat and fat are believed to be medicinal and are sought to treat diseases like tuberculosis. Animal-human conflicts remain as populations grow. The native animals are forced out of their natural habitat, restricted from water and grazing. An Antrax breakout in 2006 nearly wiped out the remaining population, but an extensive vaccination program saved the remaining herds.
It was legal to shoot the Hartmann’s Mountain Zebra until 1997 as they were considered a “varmint” to agricultural farmers. The animals are continuing to lose their habitat to human encroachment.
While our antelope are not on the endangered species list at this time, their numbers are diminishing for many of the same reasons. Climate change, human use of land restricting grazing and water access, are taking their toll, and they are now listed as Conservation Dependent. In fact, the Roan Antelope has moved to the “At Risk” category, meaning that they are disappearing at a faster rate.
What can I do to help?
Support your local zoo. The AZA conducts a lot of research and funds several programs to help reintroduce animals back to the wild, preserve habitat, and educate native residents about the animals. Many animal species would now be extinct if it was not for a zoo.
Do your part to help slow the impact that humans have on the environment. Whether you believe in global warming or not, the impact we have cannot be good on the environment.
To help B Bryan Wildlife Foundation, you may visit the donate page and contribute to our cause of keeping the species alive.