Frequently Asked Questions

Where is the Ellen Trout Zoo located?
The Zoo is located at 402 Zoo Circle, Lufkin, Texas 75904. On the north Loop 287, exit north on Martin Luther King and turn left immediately onto Zoo Circle. The intersection at Loop 287 and Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive is closed on the east bound side of the road. East bound traffic will need to go to the US 59 intersection and make a U-turn. Parking is available along the street or the parking lots in Ellen Trout Park. Buses are requested to park in the Expo Center parking lot.  Call 936-633-0399 for more information.

Yahoo Map to the Zoo
What time does the Zoo open?
The Zoo is open daily from 10:00 a.m. and stops taking admissions at 3:30 p.m., but visitors may remain in the zoo until 4:00 p.m. This includes holidays and weekends. The Ellen Trout Zoo is open every day of the year.
How much does admission cost?
Admission Fees

$8.00 for adults 12-59
$6.00 seniors 60 and older
$6.00 military (with ID)
$4.00 for children 4-11
Children under 4 are free

We are not offering group rates at this time.

Zoo admission fees are split with a portion going into the City general fund to help support zoo operations and the rest going into the zoo building fund to make improvements and help the zoo grow. The current project of the building fund is to provide revenues to help build the new gorilla habitat.
What is the AZA?
AZA stands for the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. This professional organization is composed of accredited Zoos and facilities. Accreditation is done every five years for every institution. An inspection by peers is performed to ensure that member zoos meet established professional criteria. Those meeting these criteria are accredited.

The Ellen Trout Zoo received its 5 year inspection and passed in March of 2016. The Zoo has now been accredited since September of 1983 and was the fifth zoo in Texas to receive accreditation. Look for the AZA logo whenever you visit a zoo or aquarium as your assurance that you are supporting a facility dedicated to providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for you, and a better future for all living things. With its more than 200 accredited members, AZA is a leader in global wildlife conservation, and your link to helping animals in their native habitats. For more information visit
How do I join Friends of the Ellen Trout Zoo ?
For more information on Friends of Ellen Trout Zoo, call 936-633-0399 or stop by the zoo at 402 Zoo Circle, Lufkin, TX 75904.  You can pick up a brochure and join a growing group of people supporting the zoo.  Or you can download a membership brochure by clicking here and following the instructions.
How many animals do you have?
The Zoo houses over 800 mammals, birds and reptiles from around the world. 
Does a membership at Ellen Trout Zoo grant admission at other zoos?
Ellen Trout Zoo is a member of the Association of Zoos & Aquariums and does have reciprocity agreements with many other members and their facilities. Click here for a list of participating zoos.
Do you have a petting zoo?
We do not have a petting zoo because they require additional staff members to supervise activities of the animals and the people.
How can I help the zoo?
You can help the zoo by joining Friends of the Ellen Trout Zoo, by participating in the "Adopt An Animal" program, by making a contribution to the "Gorilla Forest Reserve Fund", or by making a donation to the Zoo Building Fund.
What about the train?

The Z & OO Railroad is owned and operated by the Lufkin Hosts Lions Club. It does not have any affiliation with the Ellen Trout Zoo or the City of Lufkin. The train ride takes about 8 minutes and goes around the park and across Ellen Trout Lake. Children 3 years of age and under ride free, everyone else is $2 (credit/debit cards not accepted). The proceeds benefit various projects and organizations in the area. From around the first of March until school starts in August the operating hours are from 10:00am until 3:00pm on weekdays and 10:00am until 5:00pm on weekends. When school starts in August and until March the operating hours are from 10:00am until 5:00pm on weekends and major school holidays. We do make special runs during the week for groups with advanced reservations. Reservations must be made by email to and should be submitted at least two weeks in advance.

Do you allow fishing in Ellen Trout Lake?
Yes, you may fish from any area along the bank. However, you do need a fishing license to fish in Ellen Trout Lake. No boats allowed.
What is a Species Survival Plan (SSP)?


A Species Survival Plan (SSP) is a program in which zoos work cooperatively to carefully manage a species population.  The Ellen Trout Zoo participates in several SSP's including the tigers, rhinos, Bali mynahs, cotton-top tamarins, and others here at the Ellen Trout Zoo.  Look for this symbol  to identify SSP species.  To learn more about Species Survival Plans, click here.