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|Date opened||1967 |
|Land area||15 acres (6.1 ha) |
|No. of animals||700 |
The Ellen Trout Zoo is a small zoo founded by Walter Trout in 1967 and located in Lufkin, Texas, United States. It is owned and operated by the City of Lufkin, with Friends of Ellen Trout Zoo (F.O.E.T.Z.) (a 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization) supporting it with funding for major expansion and renovation projects in the Zoo's master plan.
The Ellen Trout Zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). The zoo participates in several Species Survival Plans (SSP) including tigers, rhinos, Bali mynah, and cotton-top tamarin.
In 1965, Lufkin Industries President, Walter Trout, received a 500-pound (230 kg) hippopotamus as a Christmas present. The hippo was boarded at the Monroe, Louisiana, zoo until a hippo pen was completed 18 months later. The present zoo was built around the hippo pen, and was opened in 1967.
Since 1989, the Lufkin Kiwanis Club has helped with projects at the zoo. To date, thirteen projects have been completed, totaling over 3,200 person hours of donated time and $35,000 of donated materials.
In 1999, the Maasai giraffe and white rhinoceros exhibits opened. These were followed by a Nile hippopotamus exhibit in 2002 where visitors can view the animals both above and below the waterline.
Animals that visitors will see at the zoo include DeBrazza's monkey, kestrel, Russell's viper, jaguar, Jamaican fruit bat, Galapagos tortoise, Fly River turtle, bontebok, sulcata tortoise, ruddy duck, Malayan tapir, spectacled owl, Chilean flamingo, toco toucan, saki monkeys, cotton-top tamarin, American alligator, North American river otter, hippopotamus, Bali mynah, clouded leopard, Maasai giraffe, and white rhinoceros.
Ellen Trout Zoo started offering educational programs to schools in the area in 1977. Current offerings include "Wildlife on Wheels," a series of in-classroom programs for elementary students about endangered species, animal adaptations, animal taxonomy, and rainforest environments, various school programs at the zoo, teacher workshops, university internships, and curriculum supplements.
Summer programs include the Junior Zookeeper program for seventh, eighth, and ninth graders where children work directly with zookeepers, and the Zoo Safari program.