A behind-the-scenes look at Texas’ exotic animal ranches

There are now more than a million nonnative animals belonging to 125 species on ranches across the state. Despite controversy, the industry continues to grow.

Brian Gilroy, the owner of exotic ranching business Wildlife Partners, feeds giraffes in Mountain Home, Texas, in fall 2018, when photographer Mélanie Wenger visited game ranches across Texas. A pair of adult giraffes can sell for $250,000 or more, he says. Unlike many other species traded in the industry, giraffes are not hunted—they’re bought and sold as novelties to landowners. Like most ranches that own exotic hoofstock Wildlife Partners doesn’t offer commercial hunts. Instead the company breeds, buys, and sells animals, and transports them between ranches.

Read This Next

Meat production leads to thousands of air quality-related deaths annually

At last, a malaria vaccine has passed important clinical trials

Oil company accused of ignoring community concerns about water, wildlife

Go Further

Subscriber Exclusive Content

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet