City of Lufkin, 300 E. Shepherd
Lufkin, Texas 75902 936-634-8881

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Zoo Location

The Zoo is located at 402 Zoo Circle, Lufkin, Texas 75904. On the north Loop 287, exit north on Martin Luther King and turn left immediately onto Zoo Circle. Parking is available along the street or the parking lots in Ellen Trout Park. Buses are requested to park in the Expo Center parking lot.  Call 936-633-0399 for more information.  Click here for a map.


(November 9, 2016) Mashaka, the male African Lion at the Ellen Trout Zoo, continues to recover from a vascular lesion in the spinal column that left him unable to stand. Although walking is difficult and slow, he is now recovered enough to increase his activity and spend time in the outdoor habitat which he enjoys. The additional activity provides strength building and physical therapy.

Mashaka has been under constant veterinary care since the onset of illness in late September. As expected, due to the nature of the illness, recovery is a slow but progressive process as he gains strength and relearns how to use his limbs.

Be assured that although he walks with difficulty, his spirits have remained good and he’s been very receptive to the care he has received. Mashaka remains under the medical supervision of Dr. Mike Nance, Staff Veterinarian. As his convalescence progresses, his needs change and are met by the husbandry team. Mashaka will be outdoors a few days a week and his progress will continue to be closely monitored.

(September 26, 2016) A young pair of endangered Clouded Leopards have arrived at the Ellen Trout Zoo. Clouded Leopards are a medium sized wild cat native to the dense forests of Southeast Asia. These illusive cats are threatened by habitat loss and by being killed for their beautiful skins. These magnificent ambassadors for their wild counter parts, came to the Ellen Trout Zoo through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP) for Clouded Leopards. They are still very young, but it is hoped that after they settle in and grow some, they will be producing cubs furthering the zoo’s ability to connect our guest with those wonderful animals in the wild and wild places. The Ellen Trout Zoo is open every day from 9am until 5pm, is an Accredited Member of the AZA and is the Wildest Place in Town and YOUR place to Connect with the Natural World!

(September 3, 2016) Ashur made his public debut Saturday, September 3rd. Ashur was born totally white on 15 July 2016 and he has been carefully reared by his mother. He is currently being introduced to his father Mashaka under the watchful, protective eye of his mother Adia, so that soon the whole family can be together. Because of this introduction process, Ashur has been slowly darkening from his original “cotton ball” coloration, something we thought would happen with time. However, he is still very pale compared to other lion cubs his age. Ashur is only the second African lion born at the Ellen Trout Zoo in over thirty years, his older brother, Sango, was born 28 July 2012. Ashur’s birth is the result of cooperative breeding program administered by the AZA under the Species Survival Plan program.

Ellen Trout Zoo Leaders attend Meeting of the Crocodile Specialists Group in South Africa.

(June 1st, 2016) - Ellen Trout Zoo director Gordon Henley and the zoo director of educational services Charlotte Henley attended the 24th Working Meeting of the Crocodile Specialists Group in Kruger National Park, South Africa. The Crocodile Specialist Group is a worldwide network of people interested in the conservation of crocodilian species and in the mitigation of human/crocodile conflicts. Members of the CSG must be recognized persons with expertise and interest in crocodilians and be appointed by the chairman of the CSG. There is quite a variety of interests among the membership ranging from: managing wild populations; to captive management; to diet, nutrition, and diseases; to sustainable uses of crocodiles and crocodile products; and to academic research about the various aspects of crocodilian biology. Topics of the presentations were informative and enlightening and the networking opportunities were meaningful and productive. Prior to the CSG meeting, the Henleys took the opportunity to spend some time in the South African bush observing the wildlife. Many species of animals were observed and seeing many of the species in the wild that are housed at the Ellen Trout Zoo provided a meaningful catalyst regarding the relevancy of zoos. It accentuated our ability to connect all of our guests through the animals we exhibit to their wild counter parts and give some understanding and meaning to the need to conserve wild animals and wild places. Animals at the Ellen Trout Zoo are truly “Ambassadors for their Wild Counterparts”.

The Ellen Trout Zoo has been Accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums

(May 3, 2016) - Once again the Ellen Trout Zoo has been Accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). After a lengthy process lasting nearly a year, the Accreditation Commission of the AZA has reviewed the materials submitted by the Ellen Trout Zoo and by the visiting committee that inspected the zoo and found that the Ellen Trout Zoo continues to maintain the high standards established for zoos and aquariums by the AZA. The Accreditation process occurs every five years and the standards increase within each cycle. The Accreditation program examines all aspects of the zoo’s operations: the animal collection and exhibits; education programs and offerings; attendance; the physical plant; governance; support group; financial stability; conservation activities; research projects; and maintenance programs. This is the seventh time the Ellen Trout Zoo has undergone the Accreditation process and has received Accreditation each and every time. In September 2015 the Ellen Trout Zoo received an award from the AZA recognizing over 25 years of continuous Accreditation.