LUFKIN, Texas (KTRE) - Ever wonder what the zoo looks like from the perspective of the people who work there? The Ellen Trout Zoo has opportunities for visitors to take behind-the-scenes tours of the Hippo Barn and the future site of the gorilla habitat.
The zoo would normally be wrapping up its second week of camps, but the COVID-19 pandemic delayed those plans.
“We had two full weeks of opportunities that we had prepped for camp to be taking place and had all of these activities ready to go,” said Whitney Heckler, the zoo’s education director. “Instead of just forgoing those activities, we chose to offer them to visitors as they come in each day as a family camp experience so that they stayed in their family groups that they entered the zoo with and then got to experience a little additional activity."
The tours include the Hippo Barn.
“You get to see where the hippos sleep at night, where they get their food, and then get to see them in their habitat from the zookeepers side of things, not from the visitors said, which gives you a different experience,”
The price of to attend the tours is not included in regular zoo admission. Visitors who plan to participate in the tours must wear closed-toe shoes and children must be at least 8 years old.
The tour will continue for one more week.
“Because we hopefully will be able to have camp start back up for Week 3, which is June 15. So all of next week we’ll be offering different ticket options on our Facebook page.”