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

Spring—Fall 2024 Wild Connections Tours

  • In Otter News

    “Join us for an adventure that’s ‘otter this world!’”

    Bound through the Zoo for this Wild Connections tour that takes you to Otter Passage to learn how zookeepers care for our North American river otters. Venture below the habitat to see how the water filtration system keeps the otters’ pool cool and clean. Then, the animal care team will demonstrate how they train the otters to participate in their own healthcare and present a variety of items used as enrichment, which encourages natural behaviors and stimulates these energetic animals. You’re in for an otterly good time!

  • Predators of the African Plains

    “These charismatic carnivores can’t wait to ‘meat’ you!”

    Join us for this Wild Connections tour that will take you behind the scenes at the Florence Mila Borchert Big Cat Country and introduce the lives of some of the coolest predators of the plains. Learn about what it takes to care for our cheetahs, serval, hyenas, and lions. Then go behind the scenes to our outdoor training area and participate in a training session with either our hyenas OR lions. It will be a roaring good time!

  • Elephant Extravaganza

    “A tour you will never forget!”

    Join us for this exclusive Wild Connections tour that goes INTO the Adventure Africa Elephant Habitat! You will get to set up their morning breakfast in the outdoor habitat and then see how they enjoy the fruits of your labor! During the tour, you’ll learn about our three amazing elephants and how we provide the best possible care for them in their home. During this remarkable experience, you will get to decide where to place their food and see how their unique adaptations allow them to find and enjoy their favorite treats! Pack your trunk and come join us!

  • 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 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 & 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!

  • 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 Opal and Ruby are not shy and love to get treats from new friends.

Be aware of a recent "anniversary" ticket scam. tHE ZOO IS not affiliated with this.