Behind the Scenes

Gentle Giants:  Private Giraffe Encounter  

In accordance to our safety procedures, guests must where masks during behind-the-scenes experiences.  At this time we cannot accommodate any exemptions.

Stroll behind-the-scenes of the Giraffe Barn and stand toe to toe with the Zoo’s tallest residents – the Maasai Giraffe!  Marvel at their long eyelashes and even longer purple tongue as they grasp their favorite fresh leaves from your waiting hand.  Skilled animal care staff will be on hand to educate you about giraffe behavior, nutrition and husbandry practices.  Don’t miss this mesmerizing experience! Portions of this tour are ADA Accessible

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This experience supports the animals in our care, and also supports Wild Nature Institute.  The Wild Nature Institute researches Masai giraffe in Tanzania to help ensure the species’ survival.

Gentle Giants Experience Details

Gentle Giants is a semi-private tour reserved for 1-6 guests.  

Cost:  $125 per person

Length of Tour: Approximately 30 minutes

Restrictions:  Children must be over the age of 5 with an accompanying adult.

Youth over the age of 15 are permitted to tour solo with the written permission of an adult or guardian.

You must wear closed toe shoes.  No drawstrings or loose shoe strings will be permitted.

Note:  This experience includes an incline path that guests must be able to travel.

All participants must present a signed liability waiver.

Being on our animal care team takes careful preparation.  Here are some things you need to know so that you can be prepared to work side by side with a member of our Zoo staff…Gentle Giants Details (PDF)

VIPenguin Experience (Available April- October)

In accordance to our safety procedures, guests must where masks during behind-the-scenes experiences.  At this time we cannot accommodate any exemptions.

The ideal experience for the penguin lover who has it all! Join our knowledgeable penguin keepers in the Wings of Wonder bird house and get to know their handsomely feathered friends.

The fun begins with a meet and greet, featuring a Magellanic, Rock Hopper, or King penguin. After the meet and greet, your group will marvel as a talented penguin artist creates a one-of-a-kind canvas art piece for you to take home and enjoy.

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This experience supports the animals in our care, and also supports our conservation partner SANCCOB (the Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds).  SANCCOB works on the rehabilitation and release of ill and injured seabirds.

VIPenguin Details

The VIPenguin Experience is a private tour reserved for single groups of 1-5 guests.

Cost: 2 guests: $250

Up tp 5 guests: $500

Length of Tour: Approximately 30 minutes

Restrictions:

Children ages 10 and up are permitted with an accompanying adult.

Youth over the age of 15 are permitted to tour solo with the written permission of an adult or guardian.

You must wear closed toed shoes! Rubber boots or other waterproof shoes are encouraged.

All participants must present a signed liability waiver.

Being part of our animal care team takes careful preparation. Here are some things you need to know so that you can be prepared to work side by side with a member of our Aviculture team…VIPenguin

 

Moe Hanging Out

‘Moe’mentous Sloth Encounter

This experience is currently sold out for the remainder of the season. To be put on the notification list for the 2021 season please email [email protected]

In accordance to our safety procedures, guests must where masks during behind-the-scenes experiences.  At this time we cannot accommodate any exemptions.

Slow down and enjoy this private, 30 minute encounter with ‘Moe’, the Zoo’s famous two-toed sloth and his keeper. Guests will have the opportunity to experience Moe up close and personal, including snack time and priceless photo ops!

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This experience supports the animals in our care, and also supports our conservation partner The Sloth Institute.  The Sloth Institute focuses on the research, education and release of hand-raised and injured sloths into the Costa Rican Rainforest.

'Moe'mentous Sloth Encounter Details

The Sloth Encounter is a semi-private tour for mixed groups with a total capacity of 6 guests.

Cost: $250 for 2 guests, $375 for 3 guests, $500 for 4 guests, $600 for 6 guests

Length of Tour: Approximately 30 minutes

Restrictions:

Children under the age of 15 must be accompanied by an adult.

Youth ages 15 and up are permitted to tour solo with the written permission of an adult or guardian.

All participants must present a signed liability waiver.

Wild & Wonderful Wallabies   (Available April-October)

_DSC0226In accordance to our safety procedures, guests must where masks during behind-the-scenes experiences.  At this time we cannot accommodate any exemptions.

Snuggle up and enjoy quality, hands-on time with our wallabies while learning about the TLC given to them every day by their loyal care team. Be sure to sit down and relax – you may end up with a wallaby in your lap!

Both the larger Bennett’s wallaby and smaller Parma wallaby species are included in this unique and memorable experience.

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This experience supports the animals in our care, and also supports Zoos Victoria and their efforts to prevent the extinction of Australian terrestrial vertebrate species.

Wild & Wonderful Wallabies Details

Wild & Wonderful Wallabies is a private tour reserved for single groups of 1-5 guests.

Cost: $250 for up to 2 people: $500 for up to 5 people

Length of Tour: Approximately 30 minutes

Restrictions: Children must be over the age of 4 with an accompanying adult.

Youth over the age of 13 are permitted to tour solo with the written permission of an adult or guardian.

You must wear closed toe shoes. No drawstrings or loose shoe strings will be permitted.

All participants must present a signed liability waiver.

Being a zookeeper takes careful preparation. Here are some things you need to know so that you can be prepared to work side by side with a member of our animal care team… Wild & Wonderful Wallabies Details (PDF)

Elephant Extravaganza  (Available April- October)09 A Elephant 0113

In accordance to our safety procedures, guests must where masks during behind-the-scenes experiences.  At this time we cannot accommodate any exemptions.

Have you ever dreamed of meeting an elephant up close and personal? Come and enjoy this jaw-dropping experience! The Elephant Extravaganza includes a tour of our historic Elephant House and the opportunity to learn about our three Asian elephant cows (Jati, Mai Thai, and Schottzie) along with Sabu, our bull (male).  Following your stroll around the building, watch one of our elephants paint a custom masterpiece, featuring the colors of your choice, for you to take home and enjoy.

Leave the paint to dry as you help our elephant staff give one of our elephants a bubble bath while learning about her daily care routines.

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This experience supports the animals in our care, and also supports our conservation partners Asian Elephant Support, International Elephant Foundation, and research for the cure of the Elephant Endotheliotropic Herpes Virus (EEHV).

Elephant Extravaganza Details

The Elephant Extravaganza is a private tour reserved for single groups of 1-5 guests.

Cost: $600 for up to 2 guests, $800 for 3 guests, $1000 for up to 5 guests

Length of Tour: Approximately 60-75 minutes

Restrictions:

Children ages 5 and above permitted with an accompanying adult.

Youth over the age of 15 are permitted to tour solo with the written permission of an adult or guardian.

Guests must wear closed toe shoes while inside the Elephant House.

Signed liability waiver

Being a zookeeper takes careful preparation. Here are some things you need to know so that you can be prepared to work side by side with a member of our Elephant team. Elephant Extravaganza Details (pdf)

 

Hangin’ with Hippos (Available May-September)

In accordance to our safety procedures, guests must where masks during behind-the-scenes experiences.  At this time we cannot accommodate any exemptions.

During this experience, care team members from Team Fiona will lead groups around Hippo Cove to get a closer look at what it takes to care for our hippos. Groups will have the opportunity to see Bibi and Fiona’s habitat inside the hippo building as well as the care team’s prep areas, including the kitchen space. After viewing the indoor areas, groups will venture outside where they will have the opportunity to meet the hippos and watch them participate in a training session. Groups will walk away with one custom canvas painting created by one of our resident hippo artists. Our hippos are managed through protected contact and groups will not have the opportunity to touch the hippos during the tour.

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This experience supports the animals in our care, and also supports VulPro and the Uganda Waterways Project.  VulPro supports the rescue, rehabilitation, and release of ill and injured vultures. The Uganda Waterways Project supports the patrols of rivers to prevent poaching of hippos and other African wildlife.

Hangin’ With Hippos Details

Hangin’ With Hippos is a private tour reserved for groups up to 5 guests.

Length of Tour: Approximately 30 minutes

Cost: $600 for up to 2 guests, $800 for 3 guests, $1000 for up to 5 guests

Restrictions: Children must be over the age of 10 with an accompanying adult.

Youth over the age of 15 are permitted to tour solo with the written permission of an adult or guardian.

You must wear closed-toe shoes. No drawstrings or loose shoe strings will be permitted.

All participants must present a signed liability waiver.

This experience is currently sold out for the remainder of the season. To be put on the notification list for the 2022 season please email [email protected]

Roam’n with Red Pandas

This is a fall/winter experience.  To be notified when this experience will open for booking, please email [email protected]

In accordance to our safety procedures, guests must where masks during behind-the-scenes experiences.  At this time we cannot accommodate any exemptions.

Spend time hanging out with these awesome arboreal animals on our Red Panda Encounter.  During this experience, guests will meet with the Red Panda’s care team and learn all about our scarlet friends.

Guests will also have the chance to view a Red Panda feeding during this encounter.

What’s their favorite food?  How much do they sleep?  Is it true that they’re the only true panda?  Find out all of this and more on our Red Panda encounter.

Long pants and masks are required during this experience.  We cannot accommodate any exceptions. (This experience is not ADA accessible, and requires guests to stand during the entire encounter)

Book Your Encounter

Expand for Tour Details

Price– $300 for 2 people, $400 for 3 people  (Because of space, 3 is the largest group we can accommodate) Parking and admission is included for all tour guests attending this experience.

Tour Length– 30 minutes

Tour Time– 1:15pm

Tour Days– Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday

Age Limit– 10 years

A portion of each Behind-the-Scenes Experience is tax-deductible.

Virtual Options

Heads will turn when you invite a cheetah, red panda, or another animal ambassador to your next virtual meeting! All virtual visits are 15 minutes in length, and can either be prerecorded personally for your group or hosted live on the video conferencing service of your choice!. Email [email protected] to book yours!

Squawk and Talk

$250

The bird is the word in your next video call! One of the birds from our Ameritas Wings of Wonder Bird Encounter will fly into to your next meeting.


Goat-2-Meeting

Front view of a goat

$100

Our Nigerian Dwarf Goats & Nubian Goats are ready to hop into your meeting. Spice up your next video call when you invite these cool “kids” to join your group!


Speed Dial

$500

Are you ready to make a “quick” call with our cheetahs? Your next video call will be “spot-on” when a cheetah joins in on the fun!


Llama on the Line

$150

Are you ready to have a whole llama Zoo fun? You will be virtually connected with our llama and alpacas for an interactive call tailored to your group! Spots available now!

Mystery Animal Tour

$150

It’s a surprise who picks up the phone for this virtual call!  You’ll receive a special call from one of our feathered, furry, or scaled friends. You’ll have the chance to learn all about your mystery caller while you hang out with them and a member of their care team.


Ring in the Reds

red panda eat bamboo

$500

Get ready for this “paw”some experience! Give our Red Pandas a ring, because they’re ready to romp into your next video call.


Wallaby Calling You Later?

wallaby

$250

Jump for joy as our wallabies join your next meeting. Our Bennett’s and Parma wallabies are ready to hop into your next video call.

Do you have a zoo-nique engagement idea for your Behind the Scenes Tour? Contact [email protected] for assistance!
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