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About Us

The Herring family has always loved animals. Wayne and Nona Herring and their two boys, Craig and Tracey always enjoyed the outdoors. Their first glimpse into the exotic animal industry came in 1987 when Craig went on a trip to West Texas where he encountered exotics on a game ranch. He came home and told the rest of the family about everything he had seen there and so began their journey.

Before they got home from their first exotic animal auction, their wheels were already turning. They decided to start by putting fences on their property in Ponta, Texas and soon began getting animals to put in them. After a few years, not only had their feed bill increased but so had the curiosity of all the passers by. A few people would stop to ask what kind of animals they had so they let a few of them drive through the property to see for themselves.

After the first few people that drove through gave them some money, they thought it would help to pay for the cost of feed for the animals so they started charging and that decision grew into Herring’s Wilderness. A few years later they had to sell the business because of some health problems in the family but not being able to fully let it go, they kept some zebras and blackbuck on a smaller piece of property.

A little while later, Wayne and Nona moved to Grapeland, Texas and purchased the 59 acres that houses the park today. They immediately fenced it and began Grapeland Safari and got right back to business as usual. When Wayne sadly grew sick and passed away, they closed the park and sold the majority of the animals. Having had time to grieve the loss of their father, Tracey, Craig and Nona revived their father’s legacy and brought the park back to life so that others could come and enjoy the animals just as Wayne once did.


13440 Us Highway 287 N
Grapeland, Texas 75844


(936) 687-5292


Open: 9AM - 5PM Wednesday - Sunday.
Closed: Monday and Tuesday
Hours change seasonally.