LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - The Ellen Trout Zoo was honored with a Certificate of Excellence from tripadvisor.com. The site says the zoo received the award based on the quality of reviews it received.
The reviews have made the zoo one of the premier travel destinations for East Texans.
"It is a result of visitors and their comments, so we were pretty pleased with that," said Director Gordon Heneley.
Visitors to Lufkin said they agree.
"We usually try to come once a summer with all of the kids," said Saratoga, Texas resident Tabitha Hendrix.
"The kids think it is great," said Alicia Marshall, another Saratoga resident. "They've enjoyed it. They like the hippos and the rhinos and the giraffes."
While each guest has their favorite animal, they all agree the scenery adds to the experience.
"It's shaded. The kids can run around, and you don't have to worry about them," Hendrix said.
"I like the layout and landscaping. It's just a nice relaxing trip," Marshall said.
The low admission price is also a plus.
"It's affordable; plus, it gets him out of the house from playing video games," said Timpson resident Jessie Maynard, who was visiting the zoo with his grandson.
Besides the affordable price, visitors said what really brings them back is that they get to see something they didn't see before. That's something the staff prides themselves on.
"We have two female giraffes, and we are bringing in a young male that is the same age as our young female," Heneley said. "We have two male rhinos. One of our males is going to be going to North Carolina, and we are bringing in a female from Florida, so hopefully in a reasonable amount of time we will have baby rhinos."
The Ellen Trout Zoo in Lufkin proves you don't have to travel far to discover a whole new world of adventure.