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Today's Homesteader: Exotic petting zoo opens its doors in Cotopaxi

Johnny and Rex
Posted at 9:17 AM, Jul 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-07 13:14:48-04

COTOPAXI — Over in Cotopaxi, a man has taken 50 acres, hundreds of animals, and a personal dream and turned it into a mixture of homestead and semi-exotic petting zoo that is now open to the public!

Johnny Jewels, that man behind Today's Homesteader, has a passion for animals, creating harmony, and reshaping the land.

"My whole thing is, I love animals, I love nature, and I want to create something hasn't been created before," stated Johnny.

Currently the southern Colorado man has a herd of more than 300 animals, all living together harmoniously, on his property. They range from camels, to zorses, to emus, goats, a kangaroo and more.

If the operation takes off, Johnny hopes to expand his herd to include ostriches, zebras, monkeys and even possibly a giraffe.

In regards to the reshaping of his property, he's working to bring in leaf trees, bamboo, create orchards and massive gardens among other things, that will change his land dramatically.

"So it's just going to be a total transformation and in 15 or 20 years, this land will be totally different from any surrounding property next to me," he continued.

The experience he's working to promote is a safari style petting zoo. People can come in and hike the main trail through his property, unsupervised, and get up close and personal with plenty of fluffy and feathery animals.

Eventually Johnny's goal is to use the homestead and petting zoo as an educational tool for the local school district.

Following his retirement, years down the line, Johnny hopes to put the entire operation into a trust to go towards benefiting local education.

To learn more about Johnny and follow his journey, check out the Today's Homesteader Website.