Wild Connections: Animal Encounter Tours

Your Very Own Secret Safari!

These up-close encounters, with a variety of furry, feathered, and finned animals, let visitors go nose to whisker with residents like our furry Virginia opossum, and eyes to ossicone with the reticulated giraffes.

You’ll get the inside scoop on their unique adaptations and behaviors, their favorite foods and treats, and even learn what it’s like to care for the animals!

These rare tour opportunities not only let you see some of these magnificent animals in a more personal way, but they serve as very real “conservation connections,” helping the Zoo’s animals and also their counterparts in the wild.

The Zoo both participates in and supports a variety of animal programs to enhance the well-being of at-risk animal populations from around the world.

Make plans now for an up-close connection – our animals are roaring to see you!

A range of tour costs, days, and times to make your reservation are offered.



Questions? Send us an email: zoo.wildconnections@milwaukeecountywi.gov

Fall-Winter 2023-24 Wild Connections Tours

  • Giraffe Jamboree

    “Their antics will have you ‘giraffing’ out loud!”

    Take a stroll to the Zoo’s Giraffe Experience presented by Miller Lite on this Wild Connections tour that takes you up close with the Zoo’s tallest animals! Meet our reticulated giraffes nose to nose and learn how we care for these amazing longnecks. Help us feed our herd an afternoon snack as you hear, from a zookeeper, how to protect these remarkable animals. Find out more about their behaviors, personalities, and why their necks are so long! You’ll be shocked to discover how gentle and graceful these giants are up close!

  • Take Flight Bird Feeding

    “Feed our highest-flying friends!”

    Take flight with the flock! Join us for this 20-minute Wild Connections experience that lets you participate in feeding time! Venture to the Herb and Nada Mahler Family Aviary with one of our zookeepers to learn about what goes into caring for unique and diverse residents in the building. Then, meet some of our most playful and colorful birds — the mustached Inca Terns. Learn why their white feathers that resemble a mustache are so important, and what you can do to help them thrive in the wild while feeding them their favorite food… fish! This experience is guaranteed to make a bird lover out of anyone!

    Inca Tern

  • Scales and Tails

    “Get up close and personal with our cold-blooded friends!”

    Join us on this Wild Connections tour to learn all about how our Aquatic and Reptile Center operates and meet some new friends! Feed our Amazon River habitat which includes the oldest animal in the Zoo, Onassis, the Amazon River turtle. Explore behind the scenes to see what it takes to keep a 55,000-gallon aquarium running while discovering the specialized diets for some of our most distinct species in the Zoo. Then climb above Lake Wisconsin to meet some of our most unique reptile ambassadors!

  • Moose Mania

    “Be prepared for a wildly ‘amoosing’ time!”

    Bundle up, lace up your boots, and be prepared for the trek to meet our resident moose, Robin, in her private hideaway. On the hike to see Robin behind the Small Mammals building, learn about how animals adapt for the winter weather and why seasonal changes are so important for species like moose. Moose are the largest of the deer species, and once at the barn, you’ll see exactly how big they are while you feed Robin her favorite treats — apples and bananas!

  • Hooray for Hooves

    “This tour is a PIG deal!”

    Have you herd? Hogs are the handsomest! This 30-minute Wild Connections tour will have you squealing with delight. You’ll literally go “under” the scenes in our hoofstock area to connect with some of the most engaging and unique animals in the Zoo. First, we’ll tour the basement and food prep area our zookeepers use to keep things running smoothly behind the scenes. Then, we’ll introduce our red river hogs, Mort and Dudley, who love training, treats, and enrichment toys! Guests will help zookeepers with their daily care while discovering why our swine are divine!

  • Mouse Deer Mania

    “Chevrotaining the masses!”

    Wait? Are they a mouse or a deer? And why are they in with the birds? All these questions and more will be answered during this exclusive Wild Connections tour that lets you feed one of the smallest and cutest hooved animals in the world! Also called Malayan Chevrotains, our mouse deer are neither true deer nor mice, but they are not shy and love to get treats from new friends. Come meet Opal and Ruby at the end of your visit to the Milwaukee County Zoo!

  • Reindeer Roundup

    “Sleigh ‘Hi’ to the reindeer!”

    With the holidays fast approaching, don’t miss your chance to meet our hooved friends before they fly north to help out Jolly ‘ole St. Nick! Migrate with us to the west end of the Zoo to learn what it takes to care for our resident reindeer pair. Get close enough to hear the click, click, click of their hooves and feel just how heavy their antlers really are! Then, help us feed Bean his favorite treats, as you tell him if you have been naughty or nice this year! You’ll fa la la la love this special experience!

  • Red Panda-Monium!

    “A ‘paw’-some start to your day!”

    Join us for this limited-time exclusive Wild Connections tour that will take you behind the scenes to meet arguably the cutest and fluffiest animals in the Zoo — the red pandas! Dash on down to our Red Panda habitat just in time to feed our pandas their breakfast snacks. On the way, learn about the care that goes into keeping these unique carnivores healthy and happy, as well as the important conservation work to keep them safe in the wild. Then watch as they spend the morning pouncing, climbing, and playing in their home. You will be bamboozled by how much fun you have!

    Red Panda