MOORE ON ART: Exotic Animals


by Deva Moore

Art sharpens our senses and pleases our souls. We enjoy art on canvas, paper, cloth…in clay, stone and many other media choices. Art is found liberally in nature and that is where we find this month’s beautiful, graceful, appealing art. Scattered over the state of Texas is art in the form of exotic animals.

To allow the reader to understand what an exotic animal is specifically, one must know that exotic animals are defined as animals not native to Texas or the United States.
Texas is home to many species of exotic animals. While these creatures are fun and enjoyable, one must know what they are doing when owning an exotic animal. While fun to observe, as with all living creatures, providing proper care is very important. To help us learn more about these majestic animals and their care, this issue we feature Hill Country Exotic Traps and Plastic.
Yes, there is a connection within the name and it should also include the word Professional as these men are ultimate professionals in their business! Bobby Pyle realized his dream of owning, managing, buying, selling, and safely trapping when his dad purchased property in the hill country and gave Bobby free rein to create a safe environment to begin obtaining exotics. Bobby has more than 11 successful years of animal experience and according to him, each day is a joy. Brandon Smith, who shares the love of exotics, teamed up with Bobby and together they are a dynamic team that can do it all! Bobby designed a state-of-the-art trap system that is used to safely trap the exotics to transfer them, relocate them, sell them or any other need in handling these beautiful animal works of art.

Exotics are not handled exactly the same as a domesticated horse, cow or any other hoof livestock. They must be safely restrained for medical or transfer reasons. That requires a true professional who understands safety and concern for the wellbeing of the exotic animal. Many times it is necessary to sedate or dart an animal to ensure the safety of both the animal and the handler. As a result, Bobby and Brandon stay focused on the latest and safest manner to do just that. Transporting exotic animals is not always a simple…”load up,” but a designed plan to place a wild animal into an unknown (to the animal) trailer for traveling. One cannot simply back the trailer into a pasture and “herd” one or multiple animals into it. This is where the trap and their knowledge comes into play.

For many years traps have been utilized in collecting exotic animals. Bobby was not satisfied with the security or safety for the animals in traditional traps on the market. He worked with his dad (who is in the plastics business) to create and market a trap that is inviting and safe to secure these exotic animals. The trap is designed to quickly and safely confine the animals for capture. There is an elaborate and secure channel system to separate, funnel and load the animals at that point.
There is a movement that has been growing for several years in the United States, and for my purpose, Texas. Farmers and ranchers (large and small) have begun to enhance their landscape with the addition of exotic animals – a form of art if you will. One can drive by many parcels of land and see animals once seen only in zoos. Zebra, rhino, buffalo, fallow deer, giraffe, gemsbock, antelope, various species of sheep, goats, wildebeest, hogs/pigs, black buck, elk, addax, lechwe, oryx, gnu, impala, kudu, nyala, springbok…and the list goes on, but you get the picture.
The art of exotic animals is quite extensive and impressive! And within many of these species there is variety! For one instance, I was amazed to learn that there are different types of buffalo. A buffalo is a majestic, beautiful animal but one should not expect a Cape buffalo demeanor to be conducive to being gentle at all. Yet the more common brown buffalo can be the gentler choice. No matter what type of wild animal, Bobby and Brandon remind us to always respect the strength and ability of all animals. The focus is always on “wild”.
Bobby and Brandon have a combined experience of more than 30 years of working with animals and have been focusing on exotic art animals for over 20 years. Hill Country Exotic Traps and Plastic strives to maintain quality and ensure their customers can rely on their expertise. If they do not immediately have an answer for a question then they will get it quickly and concisely! Hill Country Exotics Traps and Plastics can adjust to most any requirement easily and quickly. They are able to assess a situation requirement and successfully adjust their method to provide a safe and secure trap for any animal and then transport with the same safety and security. They have employed netting, darting or tranquilizing, trapping or on occasion just walking the animal into the transport vehicle. They have successfully transported all types of animals. I was entertained by the information that when they transport giraffe they must secure a path of least aerial obstacles. So that is what the measurements on bridges are for…lol!
Most exotic animals require special handling and Bobby and Brandon have the skills and knowledge to provide an excellent service for you. I inquired about which exotic is the most difficult to trap and they shared that the Sable is an extremely difficult one. Their knowledge astounds me especially when they told me that trapping an exotic for any reason must be quick and immediate attention is necessary for many reasons. The exotic must not be allowed to remain in trap very long as too many of same sex will erupt in a competition of who is bigger, stronger or well…who is most dangerous. Bobby told me that if left too long, one could return to a trap of one…and that one had eliminated his competition! Education is a key factor in the art of exotics!
Bobby and Brandon are focused on conservation of exotic animals. They both have enjoyed harvesting over the years, but strongly encourage conservation. They enjoy the enhanced landscape a group of exotic animal art brings to a piece of land. It is important to protect the resources with ensuring strong genetics and a good bloodline for future generations of animal security.
Hill Country Exotic Traps and Plastics is a family owned and operated company. They employ a complete staff to meet all needs of their operation from office to exotic maintenance, to ranch operations. They are proud to maintain a reputation of highest excellence in everything they do!
The exotic animal market is growing consistently and it is important that one seek out experience and quality if looking to start your own collection.
Bobby and Brandon can also assist in management of predators on your ranch. There is a list of predators who can cause damage, danger or destruction and an established professional can make a welcome addition to ranch management.
The art of Exotic Animals is within reach. Enhance your ranch landscape with a majestic, beautiful, exotic animal art. The benefits are remarkable and it allows one to enjoy the beauty and grace of nature.