The Caldwell Zoo strives to connect people with the wonders of wildlife in order to cultivate an appreciation for the natural world. For over 7 decades, the zoo has invited our community to witness the spectacular diversity of animals from all around the globe. We want to do all we can to share the magnificence of nature through unforgettable experiences and educational programs. We hope you’ll be inspired, as we are, to take action to ensure the vitality of the animal kingdom for generations to come..
The Caldwell Zoo was founded by a visionary who loved children and admired the majesty of nature. DK Caldwell also believed in “learning through fun.” In 1953, he and his wife Lottie opened the Children’s Zoo and Play School as a gift to the Tyler community.
The Caldwell Zoo will be a leader in connecting people with wildlife through naturalistic exhibits, interactive, fun experiences, and nature-based educational opportunities that will enrich our community, directly benefit wildlife, and inspire action for conserving the natural world.
Our zoo has grown over the years and now covers more than 80 acres. The animal habitats are arranged in general geographical regions: North America, South America and Africa, plus special species from Asia. We are always working to improve the zoo through new additions and experiences. The next phase of our master plan is currently underway, with major changes taking place in our South America section. Stay tuned for news and updates.
Animals and Habitats
More than 3,000 individual animals from over 200 species live at the zoo. Each habitat is custom built to provide a safe and comfortable home for its occupants. Many of the species at the Caldwell Zoo are endangered or threatened in the wild. Giving these animals a safe environment while helping to maintain the genetic diversity of the species are two of the zoo’s highest priorities.
We invite you to explore each habitat and learn more about the animals that live here.
The Caldwell Zoo has been an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) since 1985. We believe in sharing knowledge and scientific data to uphold the highest standards of animal care and guest experience. AZA is the leading organization for monitoring protocols and sharing beneficial information and procedures. By maintaining our affiliation, we can stay up to date with best practices for animal welfare and conservation efforts worldwide. AZA institutions work together to protect threatened animals by implementing strategic conservation efforts. For more information, please visit the AZA website.
AZA SAFE (Saving Animals from Extinction) leverages the collective expertise within AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums, along with their massive audiences, to save endangered species.
The AZA Species Survival Plan (SSP) Program is a cooperative animal management, breeding and conservation effort that works to ensure genetically diverse, demographically varied, and biologically sound populations of more than 500 animal species. For more information, please visit the
SSP Program page.