MINEOLA, Texas (KETK) — A longtime neighbor to the Mini “S” Exotic Zoo is now sharing details on what she said she’s seen over the years.  

“I think they’re probably in great trouble,” said Kathryn Barlow, Mineola Resident. 

Barlow said it’s common for animals to get loose. Including one time, when she found a wallaby on her front porch.  

“I called her when we discovered it over here,” said Barlow. “She asked permission to come on the property and look for it and she did and four, five days later it was back.” 

Barlow said it happened so many times, she gave up on calling the zoo to come to get the animal.  

“I thought that thing looks so happy and it had water, it had acres, it had grass, I thought I’m not going to call them again,” she added. “It disappeared. I don’t know if it went back home.”  

The owner of the zoo, Michelle Smith, responded over text message to KETK News, “We have rarely had an animal get out.”  

Barlow claims that isn’t true and said she once witnessed a llama dying on the property.  

“It was laying out there screaming in pain at the edge of the fence and there was nothing to do about it,” Barlow said.

Smith told KETK News, “I had a veterinarian there with me trying to save her. She was very elderly.”  

She added, “We tried everything we could.”  

Barlow isn’t the only community member concerned. Others are worried about safety if these animals escape from the property.  

“All I want to know, what kind of animal is out there so I’ll know what kind of gun to carry with me,” said another neighbor. “I don’t want monkeys in these trees out here. I got dogs. I got me.”

Smith also responded to KETK News via text, “We have been really downsizing our zoo to keep pets only. We will see have quite a few, but nothing mean and wild or dangerous.”  

Smith also tells KETK News that she is retiring in the next six to eight months and added every animal there is vaccinated according to the guidelines from their vet of record.