Flashlights in the Zoo | East Texas Moms Blog


 Visit Tyler and Caldwell Zoo recently invited a few of us from the East Texas Moms Blog to join them for Night Hike at the Zoo.

Our night started by hanging out with the elephants; Tonya, the matriarch of the group, and 2 nine-year-old males names Emanit and Mac. I don’t know about you, but I can count on one finger how many times I have eaten pizza while watching two elephants play around in water. The pizza was amazing but the sounds of elephants splashing around in the pool made it a millions times better. 

     Next we were lead to the back entrance of the giraffe house. Caldwell Zoo has four giraffes and they were all very hungry. We were greeted by them hanging their long necks over their homes searching for the romaine lettuce that we had. The male giraffe, Marjani, was hungry and not shy with his search for food. I may have been licked a few times. 

  There were many surprises that made the night even more fun.

We learned about conservation, got to engage with nature and learned a few ways we can help in our own community. 

    The zoo was dark and empty. We were guided by three very knowledgeable women that answered all of our questions. It was so cool to have someone there to answer questions about the animals. This made for a special experience with the amount of knowledge they exhibited.  We were lead from exhibit to exhibit by flashlight and you almost forget that you are in the city until you hear police sirens blare or an extra loud car drive by. 

  The Night Hike is available from 6 PM to 8:45 PM year around, but weather depending. The hike is open to anyone that would like to sign up ages 6 and up. Fifteen participants per group are required, so get a group together and explore the zoo after hours. 

Thank you to the Caldwell Zoo for this experience. I can’t wait to take my family to the Night Hike. 



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Her name usually starts a conversation as soon as she introduces herself. Most people have never met a woman named Scotti and it’s a topic she loves talking about because her name has shaped her and allows her to talk about her family. She was born in 1988 in Tyler, TX and named after her dad, Scott. They moved further south in east Texas and she grew up in Shelbyville, TX. We got her looks and sense of humor from her dad and her caring, old soul from her mom, Missi. When she was 17, she decided to join the Texas Army National Guard and after graduating high school, she left home for basic training. She graduated basic training and became a medic (68W). She is still in the Army NG after 12 years and is stationed here in Tyler, Texas as a full time active Soldier. She met her husband, Cody in the military and they have been married for 9 years. She is a step mom to a 12 year old named Brandon, he is the biggest animal lover you will ever meet and wants to be a zoo keeper when he grows up. She and her husband completed a cycle of IVF October 2017 after many years of struggling with infertility and are now pregnant with a little boy to be named Kane. She enjoys riding motorcycles and being with family most. Also, being creative brings her peace, whether it be with food, paper, paint or plants.