Tila’s Travels: Mesquite Tree Hill Ranch and Zoo

Mesquite tree hill ranch and zoo in Iowa Park
Published: Oct. 13, 2021 at 11:47 AM CDT
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IOWA PARK, Texas (KAUZ) -This week on Tila’s Travels we went to Mesquite Tree Hill Ranch and Zoo and this one is pretty darn close to home. It’s right in Iowa Park.

It’s off the beaten path a bit. This little county road leads to an exotic animal paradise... a place where, as soon as you step out of your car, the animals are greeting you.

Tracy Hyden and her husband have been running the Ranch and Zoo for a few years now. So, how did it come to be?

“My husband had really wanted camels for a time, and I finally said yes, and he went to go get it and came back with everything but a camel,” Hyden said. “And we weren’t going to do a zoo, and for a long time we didn’t. We started with the exotics for a couple of years, just taking care of them as pets and taking them in when people just couldn’t. And it’s just snowballed into what it is.”

It’s a massive zoo with a variety of exotic animals, with more coming all the time. So, each time you visit you most likely meet a new friend that you haven’t seen before.

“Then we bought a camel for our camel and, that’s why we have Rollo,” said Hyden.

Not only will you lose track of time hanging out with the animals, but you might even forget that you’re in north Texas.

On the ranch, there are about 60 animals, many of them rescued or rehomed; all with the kind of habitat that best suits their needs.

“The {animals} are pets first and foremost and, if we can’t allow them to do what they love the most, then we should have them,” said Hyden

A couple of new things this year- you can stick with the guided tour that Tammy does in which she gives you all the details on each of the animals, or you can wander around on your own.

You no longer need a reservation. You can just pop up when they’re open. You can find their times on their Facebook page.

“We have amazing community support; we just have the best community out there,” Hyden said. “They love us, support us, so we are going to keep growing as long as they want us to and support us. And hopefully, we can continue to offer things to families and kids that they wouldn’t otherwise have.”

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