Destination Texas: Animal Encounters at the Caldwell Zoo | KETK.com

TYLER, TX (KETK) – Destination Texas’ final stop in east Texas is the Caldwell Zoo.

At Caldwell Zoo there are lots of fun things to do.

“There is a lot to watch,” said Scotty Stainback, curator of mammals at the Caldwell Zoo. “We have North American, African and South American animals. “

There are two animal encounters that East Texans can enjoy.

At the Penguin Encounter, you can meet the birds raised at Caldwell Duncan and Sully.

“The penguins are fed twice a day and you can watch them. They’ll actually talk to you while they feed the penguins, ”Stainback said. “They could say it’s Duncan or it’s Sully and tell you what they’re doing and a bit about the penguins too.”

The Rencontres des Pengouins take place on Tuesdays and Saturdays at 10:30 a.m.

Residents can also come face to face with a black bear on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

People can meet the animals for $ 160, and that covers up to four people.

Those who encounter animals must report to the building and / or exhibition designated for the animal 15 minutes before the meeting. If people arrive after the start of the meeting, their reservation will be lost without refund. To meet the animals, guests will need to keep their tickets to show the keepers to enter the meetings.

All participating guests must wear closed shoes and can store their belongings in a locker.

The meeting is for people aged six and over. Participants under 16 must be accompanied by an adult over 21.

The exhibits were built to allow guests to get up close and personal with the animals.

“Once you get close to them, it develops a whole new appreciation for them. “

Scotty Stainback, Curator of Mammals at Caldwell Zoo

However, there are plenty of other waving friends to see, including a 13ft long, 75lb anaconda.

“When you have an anaconda the size of what we have, she’s very impressive,” Stainback said. “Whether you are afraid of snakes or not, it’s really cool to see a snake this size.”

Visitors can also see African elephants enjoying fun summer activities like the giant water cannon.

Photo courtesy of the Caldwell Zoo Facebook page

“They really enjoy the water. Our two males that we received from San Diego will be entering the water daily, ”he added. “They’re going to sit in there, fight and dive in.”

You can visit the petting zoo, visit the aviary and feed the giraffes.

“You can watch the giraffe come up and take you (the food) and see how long its tongue lasts,” Stainback said.

Recently endangered species Texas horned lizards have hatched. Stainback said the lizards weighed about less than a dime.

People from all over Texas visit the Caldwell Zoo to view the animals.

“We have guests from the Dallas and Fort Worth area,” Stainback said. “They have two really cool zoos but they also choose to come and see us.”

Other things that the zoo offers are education programs.

In the fall and spring, the zoo offers a ZooSchool program designed to ensure that all activities and lessons are age-appropriate and appealing to all types of students. Classes are a mix of indoor and outdoor activities, including experiments, games, and crafts.

ZooSchool classes meet once a month for a total of six sessions in the fall and winter and three times in the spring. Classes will run for three hours from 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Throughout the year, teenagers can join the zoo team. They will help professional counselors create experiences for Tyler’s youth. Crew members will have active roles in leadership activities, guide games, craft and camp help. Volunteer opportunities generally run throughout the summer.

Zoo Crew members are required to commit to a minimum of two busy weeks. Daily hours are 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. each day.

Each summer, the zoo has a camp for all children from 4 to 13 years old. People have three choices.

They can go with half day camps, day camps or get the all inclusive package.

Half-day camps are for children ages 4-6 and cost $ 120 for zoo members and $ 135 for non-members. The half-day option includes registration, snacks and a t-shirt.

For one day camps, members will pay $ 200 and for non-members $ 225. The full day option includes snacks and a t-shirt.

The all-inclusive package is $ 240 for zoo members and $ 265 for non-members. The all-inclusive package includes registration, snacks, a hot coffee lunch, and two T-shirts.

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