Introduce us to your family. We are the Whelchels. Brian is 43, I am Tara, and I am 34. We have one son, Maxus, who is seven and one adult daughter, Jordan who is 22. Jordan has one son, our grandson Kylen, who is one. We own Brian Whelchel Construction, where he builds metal buildings and farm and ranch fencing. Maxus attends Redwater Elementary and is in first grade. I stay home and take care of things around the ranch. List all the animals you have on your property and their native homes. Red Kangaroo (Australia), Bennett’s Wallaby (Australia), Black and White Ruffed Lemur (Madagascar), Red Ruffed Lemur (Madagascar), Ring- tailed Lemur (Madagascar), White Bearded Wildebeest (Africa), Addax (Africa), Blackbuck (India), Alpacas (South America), and African Spurred
Tortoise “Sulcata” (Africa). What inspired you to turn your home into a place full of exotic animals? How long have you been doing it?
Brian has actually dealt in buying and selling exotics for many years. We have always known we eventually wanted our own place to raise our animals. We got the chance to purchase property that has been in Brian’s family for many years. We built, moved, and started buying animals at the end of 2020. We grew very quickly, and we continue to do so. A lot has happened in the past two years. How have you learned about these animals—their care and their needs? I do a ton of research and reading. I have met a lot of great people through Brian who also raise exotics. They have been a wealth of knowledge. Brian already knows so much about the hoofstock, but there was a lot to learn about kangaroos and lemurs. Everyone requires certain needs to be met, and husbandry is very important in the care of these animals. I learn new things every day.
The Whelchels: Maxus, Brian, and Tara.
BUSINESS & POLITICS
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