LUFKIN, Texas (KTRE) - In Lufkin, many city service entities are preparing for the upcoming winter weather, including the zoo.
Ellen Trout Zoo will be closed on Monday and Tuesday.
“Our animals are not used to that weather, so we are moving them inside into various locations. Just almost all of them are going from their exhibits to an off-exhibit space inside a building where there is some heat,” said Gordon Henley, the zoo’s director.
Henley said the goal is to keep the animals, guests, and employees safe.
“When we have weather like this, the ice can be a situation or just the severe cold can be. We do not want to take a chance. These animals are too precious, and they are in our care. We must do all that we can do to make sure that they stay safe and healthy,” Henley explained.
According to Henley, putting the animals in a secure environment is the safest thing for them to do for the animals to remain healthy.
“We are in a location where this weather is almost never heard of. The last time it was this cold was 1989. So, it is so infrequent that our animals are year-round outdoor animals,” Henley added. “The zoos that are in the northern areas of the country, where they experience weather like this every year, they have facilities that are indoor facilities. So that they bring their animals inside and the visitors can go inside of the building and see them.”
Staff members will eventually bring the animals back outside, of course, but Henley did not specify when.
The zoo has also made adjustments for some of the plants.
“We have moved all potted plants inside. Some of the really tender delicate ones, we have wrapped to protect them from the cold. And the rest, we just have to ride it out,” Henley said.
The “Princess and the Frog” event scheduled for Saturday afternoon will still go on as planned, according to Henley.