Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch – San Antonio TX

Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch – San Antonio TX

When we traveled to San Antonio, we knew that the two big must-see items were the Alamo and the Riverwalk. But after we had seen them, what else? We found out about the Natural Bridge Wildlife Park, just outside San Antonio. Visitors drive through to get an up-close look at the animals, most of whom you can even feed.

Animals are smarter than we give them credit for sometimes. They have learned that cars = food. So while we were expecting them to scatter and run as we approached, they actually came closer to us.

safari 1

We threw the food (given to us when we arrived) out the windows and watched them eagerly gobble it up, then look at us for more. Check out this Watusi:


Or this wildebeest:

wildebeest 1

We even saw some baby animals, like this darling Kudu:


We soon left the section where most of the animals had horns/antlers, and that was when it started to get interesting. Beginning with this emu.


It may be important to note that I did not use a zoom lens to get this picture.  The emu saw us stop, and he slowly walked in front of the car, then came around to my side because my window was open. Right after I snapped this picture, that sucker stuck his head inside the car and started pecking in my general vicinity, looking for the food. I was so scared I used some rather colorful language in front of both of my children. Screaming and panic ensued. We managed to get the window up, which did not really deter the emu. He just went over to my husband’s side of the car.


Thankfully, Hubby’s window was already up, because that bird kept pecking on the glass. He was not happy with us at all. A little ways down the road, we had a similar encounter with an ostrich. Then we came upon a group of zebra.

Forget hippos. It’s the zebras who are “hungry, hungry” and will open their mouths to catch food. Fortunately they were much calmer and friendlier than the emu. They just had no notion of personal space.


While the emu encounter was scary in the moment, it has since become a favorite family story and vacation memory. I really enjoyed our visit to Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch and would recommend it to anyone who is visiting the San Antoio TX area.

Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch is located between San Antonio and New Braunfels, Texas. Take exit # 175 off IH 35, go 7 miles west on Natural Bridge Caverns Road. Telephone 830-438-7400.  Hours vary by season; check the website for details.

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