Taking a walk on Lufkin’s wild side

ellen-trout-zoo

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. Peacocks roam the zoo grounds, making for some memorable moments, especially when little children are around. Playful otters will also keep you laughing. A short train ride takes visitors along the perimeter of the zoo, adding a little extra fun to any visit. The Ellen Trout Zoo is open year-round and charges a nominal fee.

Over the years, I’ve visited dozens of zoos across the country, both large and small. I challenge you to find a better-planned or developed zoo in a town of this size. Some friends came to visit recently and I had not yet visited Ellen Trout Zoo. I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect way to show-off Lufkin. What do you think of the Zoo? It seems like a great place to create lasting family memories. What are some of your favorite moments at the Ellen Trout Zoo?

The views expressed in this blog do not necessarily reflect the views of KTRE/KLTV-TV or Raycom Media.  They are solely the opinion of the author. All content © Copyright 2009 Lane Luckie

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