Giraffes on the Pacific Coast? Driving into B Bryan Preserve is an unworldly experience – with a wide array of African hoofstock roaming freely above the broad expanse of the Mendocino Coast below. This is perhaps the most unique attraction the Mendocino Coast has to offer, and is well worth a trip – especially for conservation-minded visitors and those with animal-loving children.
B Bryan is absolutely not a zoo, nor is it simply an attraction – it is an active breeding facility, dedicated to preserving critically endangered species from Africa. The owners are passionate and dedicated to their cause, but open the facility for guided tours during feeding hours (9:30am and 4:00pm). Tours are by appointment only, and they do fill up, so it’s worth making a reservation well in advance of your trip.
Your tour begins with a brief lecture explaining what the preserve is doing, and an overview of the animals and their status in the world. It continues in either a truck or open air land rover, visiting each animal field for the daily feeding and an opportunity for you to get an up close look at these incredible animals. The facility is located just outside of the city of Point Arena, about one hour south of the Village of Mendocino on the coast.
Six species of African hoofstock are bred and studied on this 110 acre preserve: Roan Antelope, Greater Kudu Antelope, Sable Antelope, Grevy’s Zebra, Hartmann’s Mountain Zebra, and Rothchild’s Giraffe. Some of these species are incredibly endangered – there are fewer than 3,000 Grevy’s Zebra left – and preserves like B Bryan play a critical role not only in educating the public about the animals, but also in helping to keep the population stable through research and breeding efforts.
The small size and intimate nature of this preserve makes it an incredible opportunity to see these animals in a setting unlike any other. Feeding a giraffe by hand, and standing literally feet from an endangered zebra, is a wonderful experience for both children and adults, and should not be missed on any trip to the Mendocino Coast.