New local zoo provides hayrides and animal interactions to raise expansion funds

By John F. Kaiser III – Navarro County Gazette

Merideth and Bobby Blades have brought their love of animals to you in their recently opened Blades Blessed Zoo located at 780 Nw CR 2130 Barry, TX 75102. They are currently offering hayrides that started on Oct. 13 and are running though Halloween, Saturday, Oct. 31. The hayrides are only $5 a person (children 2 and under free) and run from 7p.m. to 10 p.m. daily, but only 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Wednesdays.

“People can expect a family fun hayride where they will get to experience different types of animals on and off the hayride as well as learning some fun facts about them. There will be over 20 different species of creatures available to see which include reptiles, amphibians, arachnids, caiman, a variety of parrots, along with tons of different farm animals for petting such as ostrich, coatimundi, and a variety of lizards and snakes. Plus we just added a sloth, which will be a part of the hayride on Halloween!”

When visiting, please be mindful of social distancing and wear a mask for the safety of other visitors.

Proceeds from the hayride will go towards the Blades’ continual upkeep of the zoo, construction of different enclosures, building supplies, and the ever important animal feed. Merideth Blades goes on to say that “It takes a lot of hard work to keep the animals taken care of and housed properly. We will need monetary help to get this built and up and running. That is why we are doing events and fundraisers like these hayrides.”

There will be cookies and hot chocolate available at the end of each hayride for donations. You can also donate to the Blades Blessed Zoo through PayPal with their email, or through one of their fundraisers posted on their Facebook page.

When asked what prompted the Blades to take on the task of building a zoo here in Navarro County Merideth responded: “We have a passion for animals and we have always wanted to share Gods creatures with other people. We had visited a smaller sized zoo and saw that it was something we could accomplish and bring to Navarro County, so we began.”

If you would like to contact the Blades for more information you can email them at, message them on their social media pages or you can call or text Bobby Blades at 903-229-1870.

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