Among the Animals: Stay Over at the B. Bryan Preserve

The Point Arena animal park boasts three cottages and daytime tours.

SLUMBER AMONG THE ANIMALS: While California is home to a number of animal parks committed to conservation, a few specialize in particular areas. One spot may tend to exotic and large birds, while another celebrates a very specific beastie, like the toucans that live near Fallbrook. The B. Bryan Preserve of Point Arena is one such spot that keeps a specific focus, and that focus remains on African hoof stock. That means that Grevy's Zebra calls the 110-acre preserve home, and the Greater Kudu, and the Sable Antelope. The Rothschild Giraffe, the Roan Antelope, and Hartmann's Mountain Zebra round out the residents. The park, which was founded by Frank and Judy Mello, isn't a vast expanse full of dozens of various denizens; rather, it's a place that provides visitors a very concentrated and deeper experience with a few particular animals. If you've ever felt that you've glossed over a few cute creatures on your way to see the reptile or mammal you've come to see, call this a more honed-in and intimate way to think about a half dozen animals and their way of living.

VERY HONED-IN: You can stay near 60 or so hoof-happy animals, many of which have come from zoos, in one of three quarters on the property: Bridge Cottage, Chapel Cottage, and Carriage House. One cottage is near a pond favored by ducks, another boasts a vintage stove, so call it a cozy way to stay close to the zebras and antelopes and do so with some vintage, old-school oomph. As for tours of the property? They're twice a day, one in the forenoon and one after, and timed to the animals' feeding schedules. And, for sure, you'll learn some of the animals' names along the way. Given the small group at the park, every resident has his or her own handle, and while they aren't pettable, you can get up-close with the giraffes (close enough for a kiss). To learn more about B. Bryan Preserve, visiting, and ways to lend a hand, click.

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