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Apr 10

Caldwell Zoo: Big Zoo in a Small City

snakeThe Caldwell Zoo located in Tyler, Texas is one the best small city zoos that Karen and I have ever been to.  It is a relatively large zoo at 84 acres and houses more than 2,000 animals including African elephants, black-footed penguins, lions, a white tiger, and black bear.  The exhibits were spacious and well done, we were extremely impressed with how the Caldwell Zoo had several exhibits that lined up allowing predators like lions to overlook some of its natural prey.Lion siestaKaren and I found the Caldwell Zoo to be well maintained and clean and their multi-species exhibits had a very natural feel to them.  The Zoo is divided up into 3 different themed areas like the Africa Savanna, North America and South America.  They also have an African aquarium area a herpertarium for North American species and a free-flight aviary with dozens of parakeets and cockatiels.  We found the staff and zoo keepers to be very friendly and professional all-in-all it seemed like a well-run zoo.Black Footed PenguinsThe most impressive area of the Caldwell Zoo had to be their African themed area.  We were very impressed with the amount of space their giraffes and elephants had.  Karen and I also found their African Aquarium to be very well put together, and the glass wall that backs the exhibit that let visitors see the rest of the African exhibits from a distance, a nice finishing touch.  The African exhibits along with their aquarium are home to a variety of animals including rock hyrax, cichlid fish, a variety of birds, zebras, meerkats, and kudu.Mountain LionThe North American themed area includes natural exhibits for mountain lions, Texas longhorns and river otters.  Once again each exhibit seemed to be well designed and natural looking.  The Caldwell Zoo does a wonderful job keeping bars and even net enclosures to a minimum instead using moats and other less obstructive barriers to encage their animals.  The North American herpertarium was pretty run of the mill, nothing ground-breaking but had several nice tanks and a variety of reptiles and amphibians from the continent.M looking at the birdsOur baby girl M who was nine months old at the time of our visit to the Caldwell Zoo loved their Wild Bird Walkabout.  This habitat area is a free-flight area that allows visitors to get up close and feed parakeets.  She would just point to all of the colorful birds that were flying around and her eyes got so big when all of sudden a macaw let out a loud angry siren like screech and all of the parakeets and cockatiels flew from one side of the enclosure to the other.MacawThe Caldwell Zoo also has a good sized South American area that is home to Chilean flamingos, capybaras, a variety of macaws and giant anteaters.  Like everything else at this zoo it is well put together but nothing flashy.  Finally the last major area of the zoo is their children’s play area which includes a small petting zoo and playground.Texas LonghornOverall, Karen and I were very impressed with the Caldwell Zoo.  The town of Tyler, Texas and its 100,000 residents are extremely lucky to have that nice of a zoo.  It really was the perfect size zoo for our family not so big that we end up being tired and worn out by the time we were done, and the cleanliness, quality of exhibits, and the fact it was not jammed packed with people made for a very relaxing day.  If you are in the Tyler area of Texas or just driving through like Karen and I were, then stop by because I think the Caldwell Zoo will impress you just like it did us.African ElephantCaldwell Zoo
Located at 2203 Martin Luther King Blvd, Tyler, Texas
Hours of Operation March- 1st through Labor Day 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and After Labor Day through February 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day
Cost as of this Posting- Adults aged 13 to 54 $10.50, Seniors 55 and over $9.25 and Children 3 to 12 $7.00
For More information visit their website at http://www.caldwellzoo.org/

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