Web Extra: Lufkin’s Ellen Trout Zoo
The 20-acre Ellen Trout Zoo remains one of Lufkin’s pre-eminent attractions. Open every day of the year, it’s home to some 700 reptiles, birds, and mammals from around the world, including the ever-popular Komodo dragons, Masai giraffes, white rhinos, and river otters. The newest addition is “Rusty,” a two-month-old bay duiker (small African antelope), which brings the world’s total population of bay duikers to eight.
One of the first zoos to be accredited in Texas, the zoo is completing the final project in a master plan begun in the 1990s—the design for a gorilla exhibit. “We’re excited about this because only 52 or 53 zoos have gorillas,” says Zoo Director Gordon Henley. “This gives us an opportunity to offer our visitors something new and exciting, as well as provide homes for additional endangered animals bred in captivity.”
With so much ground to cover and so many exhibits, many visitors opt for an overview aboard the Z&OO Railroad, whose track takes passengers around the perimeter of the zoo and across Ellen Trout Lake. The train operates every day during the summer and on weekends and by special arrangement the rest of the year.
The zoo is at 402 Zoo Circle in Lufkin.
From the June 2012 issue.