Thursday, March 29, 2018

East Texas Zoo & Gator Park: An Wonderful Menagerie

My idea of a great road trip is discovering what you might not have expected. So many billboards of zoos and gator farms that I've passed by, there is never enough time. I love being alone and having that freedom to go and explore just about anything; I've never been disappointed yet.

I finally decided to visit East Texas Botanical Gardens but got sidetracked. I noticed a sign on the highway for East Texas Zoo and Gator Park and I was on my way.

Out in the middle of nowhere is a small oasis with a huge collection of diverse animals. It's one of those places you just don't know what you're going to see.

The people were friendly, the cost was low and I was excited to explore a hidden gem. They have many gators and some of them quite large. I was able to listen to bullfrogs singing in the ponds near the gators, a sound I have really missed.

Do you know what a Cape Barren Goose is? I found out the hard way that they are quite aggressive. All the animals are in their own yard and you walk along tall fences-it really is a great little maize with something different around each bend. The Cape Barren Goose wasn't taking visitors-he threatened and attacked the fence at every change he got. I wasn't paying attention for a moment while photographing and it put it's head through the fence trying to nip at me. I survived.

I saw a sloth bear and baboons who were very curious of its presence. There were zebras and deer-all familiar animals but some I couldn't name. There were also lemurs and monkeys and a couple of very large tortoise that I believe acted as tour guides.

If you ever get to Grand Saline, ignore the groans of the family, "there's not enough time." Go check out the East Texas Zoo and Gator Park, it was quite an enjoyable experience-just beware of the goose.

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