Ellen Trout Zoo celebrates 50th anniversary - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Ellen Trout Zoo celebrates 50th anniversary

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Source: KTRE Source: KTRE
Source: KTRE Source: KTRE

Lufkin's 'Ellen Trout Zoo' celebrated its 50th birthday today, and zoo officials say that they have no plans of slowing down. A master plan to expand the zoo. across the river and with new exhibits is still being put together.

"Moving across the lake and developing a Texas area, East Texas, West Texas, United States, Central America, South America, expand Africa, expand Asia," said zoo director, Gordon Henley. "Actually, we're planning on a restaurant and an adventure area."

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When Walter Trout founded the zoo in 1967, the general feeling towards the zoo wasn't one of hope. 

"When we went back in the early documents of founding the zoo, many people thought it wouldn't make it," said Henley.

The great-great-granddaughter of Walter Trout, Barbara Corbett, was present at the anniversary to celebrate with other members of the Trout family. 

"It's just a wonderful place to be and a great addition to Lufkin," said Corbett. "And, I think our next fifty years will be even better."
The zoo opened its doors to visitors from 49 different states and 8 different countries last year. Some, however, have lived here for since the the zoo's founding.

 "Every time the grand kids came, we came to the zoo," said Kathy Galden. "Well, the grand kids have all grown up now. And, very impressed with how they've kept it up and how many animals they have that they didn't have the last time we were here."

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