TYLER, Texas — Zoos in East Texas are being extra precautions in keeping their animal friends safe after the recent events in Texas-area zoos.
"It’s a zoo packed full of experience and incredible staff," said Paul Swen, brand director at the Caldwell Zoo.
Incredible staff and incredible animals. Elephants, flamingoes, giraffes you name it, they have probably have it.
"There’s over 100 acres and there’s over 3,000 different animals at the zoo. It’s a real amazing zoo for the size of Tyler," Swen said.
And for Swen, keeping all these animals safe in their habitat is a priority.
"If these get out, they’re not going to get the temperatures they need, they might not get the humidity they need," Swen said.
The Caldwell Zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, meaning it’s proven to the association that the staff is doing everything to keep the animals healthy and safe, including have 24/7 surveillance on ground.
"It is about the comfort and the nutrition, and the health and well-being of the animals is always first," Swen said.
That's why they aren’t dealing with any monkey business after two monkeys were stolen at the Dallas Zoo last month. Most recently, a four-inch hole was found in the mesh surrounding the brown pelican habitat at the Houston Zoo.
"It may even be (an) exotic pet trade. There’s a black market for many animals and they’re sold for profit which is disgusting," Swen said.
In its 50 years of being open, the Caldwell Zoo has only had one incident of a stolen animals .
"Over 30 years ago, where some monkeys were stolen," Swen said.
Eventually the squirrel monkeys were returned safe and sound, but it was a lesson taught for the zoo on how to better keep the animals safe.
Swen said every animal has a custom-built habitat to keep them safe depending on their size and habits, which is why they’re re-doing their South American habitat, to better fit the needs of those animals.