Taking a walk on Lufkin’s wild side

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American alligators lounge in a pond at Lufkin’s Ellen Trout Zoo.

Lions and tigers and bears, hippos and snakes; the Ellen Trout Zoo has them all. The zoo appears to be an East Texas hidden treasure. It is heralded as one of the best small city zoos in the United States, home to 800 wild and exotic animals from around the world.

Endangered species are protected here and participate in a program called the Species Survival Plan. The program’s goal helps find suitable mates for the animals in an effort to repopulate the species. Birds, mammals, reptiles, and dozens of nature’s most interesting creatures are found within a cleverly-planned, winding trail through the zoo.

Visitors are able to get up-close and personal with Hippopotamus in the “Hippoquarium.” Siberian Tigers and Jaguars are visible through a thick glass viewing areas, letting you feel like you’re feet from these powerful felines. Continue reading