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Not far from the hustle and bustle of Dallas, almost midway between Big D and the casinos of Bossier City, Louisiana, you’ll find some East Texas action of another sort…

The Caldwell Zoo in Tyler is simply one of the best kept secrets among zoo lovers in North America.

The spacious Toronto Zoo, with more than 5,000 animals on 710 acres and a walking trail that stretches some six miles, the Bronx Zoo, the San Diego Zoo and others such as Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoo have older traditions, that’s a given.

While tradition is important in many areas of our culture, size isn’t always an indicator as to the quality of the zoo.

The outstanding zoo in Fort Worth is on 64 acres and the Dallas Zoo isn’t much larger, with both of them being in the same size-range as the 85-acre Caldwell Zoo.

When those who love exotic animals come to Texas there are two of the smaller zoos they find to be very accommodating, complete with an “up close” relationship with many of the animals. Those zoos are the Gladys Porter Zoo in Brownsville, in the Rio Grande Valley and the other is the Caldwell Zoo in East Texas.

Caldwell is an easy walk through gently rolling terrain, with one pleasant surprise after another.

There’s ample parking, shade trees everywhere and an immaculately clean facility.

We’ve put several pictures on the website and we hope to add to those in the coming months and years.

For more information, including a history of the zoo, visit their website.