B Bryan Preserve

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Place Category: Lodging and Camping, Inn, and What To DoPlace Tags: Inn

  • Profile

    Mendocino County is known for many wild things, but even old timers have a hard time imagining that the region has become a haven for endangered African animals.

    Hoof Stock, as they are called, are being raised and bred by Frank and Judy Mello just minutes from downtown Point Arena. The B. Bryan Preserve, home to over sixty African Antelope and Zebra, is a 100-acre parcel which includes the preserve, the Mello family home, a guest carriage house and two brand new cottage accommodations.

    The preserve is currently home to three antelope species- the Roan Antelope, the Greater Kudu and the Sable Antelope- and two species of zebra- the Grevy’s Zebra and the Hartmann’s Mountain Zebra. Each species has its own separate enclosure, with barns, plenty of grass and most importantly, lots of room to roam. The cool, moist climate and spacious grounds created the perfect setting for the animals to reproduce, and the Mellos have been wildly successful with their breeding program. “We didn’t set out to become a breeding facility,” says Judy, but they are very proud that they are playing a part in bringing several of these species back from the brink of extinction.

    The preserve is not a zoo, but works closely with zoos if there is a need for a hoofed animal in their collection. “We are very picky about which zoos we work with,” says Judy. The Mellos do work cooperatively with Safari West in Sonoma County, sharing resources and their veterinarian, who comes to Point Arena on a regular basis to help with inoculations and trimming hooves.

    Judy welcomes school groups to the preserve, and schools may visit free of charge. She cautions that in order to get the full experience, students must be quiet and keep their movements to a minimum. Tours are only given during feeding times, so it is essential that anyone planning a visit call to make a reservation and schedule accordingly.

    For those wanting an extended experience at the preserve, several lodging options are available — a two bedroom carriage house which sleeps five, and in June, two delightful new cottages will be completed. The cottages overlook a pond and are furnished with antique fixtures, stained glass, solar panels and reclaimed wood floors. Dogs are allowed with prior approval, and for obvious reasons must be leashed at all times.

    Guests receive a complimentary tour of the preserve, and are welcome to enjoy the grounds, fish in the pond, hike the trails and enjoy fresh eggs and veggies from the garden. All the accommodations are equipped with complete kitchens, and a five-minute stroll will take you to downtown Point Arena for dining, shopping, live entertainment and a walk down to the picturesque harbor area.


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