LOS FRESNOS, Texas (ValleyCentral) – If a wildlife encounter sounds like something you would enjoy, the Fragile Planet Wildlife Park in Los Fresnos is offering an experience you are likely to never forget.
Animals from across the globe are now calling a 32.5-acre park in Los Fresnos home, and they are here to help educate visitors about conservation through unique encounters that are sure to have a lasting impact.
Fragile Planet Wildlife Park (FPWP) started as a mobile educational effort with animals in upstate New York but is now stationed in the Valley. Co-owners of the park, Tyler Thomas, Nick Stacey, and Gabe Ligon say they considered south Texas because it is home to one of the animals in their care, the ocelot. Though they are still working out the legalities of bringing down their ocelot, many of their animals are already housed in recently build enclosures and ready to be interacted with.
In just two months, the property off Old Port Road in Los Fresnos has been transformed into a world-class wildlife park with many exotic residents you usually only see at zoos. Community Outreach Coordinator, Jorge Moya says the difference between a zoo and FPWP is the experience that people will have with the animals.
“When you interact with an animal a lot more, you are able to learn about them and also take in a lot more information about them,” said Moya. “Some of the animals that we do have here are endangered or critically endangered in the wild and we’d like to educate the public on what they can do to help and what we’re doing here currently to help those populations in the wild.”
Some of the interactions you can have with animals at FPWP are swimming with otters, bottle feeding baby camels, and handling a variety of endangered amphibians. Each offers its own unique wildlife lesson.
The animals at FPWP are acquired through planned acquisitions or after animals are surrendered. For example, some may be sent to be cared for by FPWP after they have been confiscated during illegal animal trading.
Moya says that the climate in the Valley is perfect for many of the animals to adapt to and those who need special accommodations will receive them, as they are focused on providing the best possible habitat for each animal once it comes into their care.
Among the friendly faces at FPWP is Angela, a 30-year-old capuchin monkey that was surrendered in New York.
“She’s a very different primate from what I’ve worked with before,” said Moya, who also cares for the animals at Fragile Planet. “Angela is definitely one that gives you a different experience. She gives you a lot more expressions. She’s a different capuchin than you would normally see and we love that about her.”
FPWP also boasts an Amphibian Conservation Breeding Project that is responsible for the only captive-bred Purple Toads in the world.
A pumpkin patch and corn maze are also in the works for the fall season.
“We want to give the public something that they’ve never gotten before, something different, and we’re here to build memories with people as well.”
You can learn more about the tours on their website.