LUFKIN, Texas (KTRE) - Four weeks after Lufkin’s Ellen Trout Zoo closed for the winter storm that hit East Texas, the zoo is set to re-open Monday morning.
According to a post on the Ellen Trout Zoo Facebook page, the zoo will re-open tomorrow at 10 a.m.
“Beginning at 10 a.m. tomorrow morning, our gates will re-open again to welcome our guests to the ‘wildest place in town and YOUR place to connect with the natural world,” the Facebook post stated.
In 2020, the Ellen Trout Zoo closed on March 16 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It closed again on Feb. 16, 2021, due to the historic winter storm that left snow on the ground for days.
“Our crews have been working daily since this time to get the public area cleared of debris to enable the Zoo to reopen,” the Facebook post stated. “Unfortunately, the snow and ice did a lot more damage to the trees and vegetation than the Hurricanes Rita and Ike put together.”
The Facebook post explained that a large tree fell across the zoo’s entrance and destroyed the entry pergola. It also broke a portion of the walkway when its root ball came out of the ground. Fallen limbs and branches were on all areas of visitor paths, and many of the walkway barriers were broken.
“It took zoo staffers and volunteers this long just to get things ready to have guests return,” the Facebook post stated.
In addition to the debris that wound up on the ground in the zoo, many broken limbs were left dangling overhead in the trees. As a result, experienced tree climbers went through the trees at Ellen Trout Zoo looking for those branches and removed them.
Fees for the zoo are $8 for adults and teens ages 12 to 59, $6 for seniors 60 and older, $6 for military personnel, and $4 for children ages 4 to 14. Children under the age of 4 are free.
The Ellen Trout Zoo is owned and operated by the City of Lufkin, which is responsible for its daily operation. The zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums.