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

Wild Connections - MooseWhat We’re Doing to Keep Visitors and Staff Safe:

  • Masks are encouraged for visitors inside Zoo buildings.
  • Tour participants will be from the same group.
  • Physical distancing will be observed when possible.
  • Either handwashing and/or sanitizing is available and encouraged before and after each experience.



Winter 2023 Wild Connections Tours

  • Hooray for Hooves

    “This tour is a PIG deal!”

    Have you herd? Hogs are the handsomest and tapirs are terrific! 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 meet our Baird’s tapir, Iibu, and feed him some tasty treats while we learn about how the Zoo directly helps his wild cousins. 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 swines are most divine!


  • Reindeer Roundup

    “Sleigh ‘Hi’ to the Reindeer!”

    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 and Kyllikki their favorite treats, as you learn about their unique adaptations that keep them warm in the winter and cool in the summer! You’ll fa la la la love this special experience!

    Reindeer Roundup

  • 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!

    Moose Mania

  • 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 bird keepers 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

  • Animal Upkeep: Opossum Edition

    “Have a totally opossum time!”

    Have you ever wondered what it takes to provide the best care for the animals at the Zoo? If so, then join us on this new Wild Connections tour that not only takes you into our Animal Health Center Learning Zone but also lets you meet one of our amazing ambassadors up close! Hang out with Pendleton the opossum while learning about what it takes to be an animal caretaker. This tour is perfect for anyone who is interested in learning more about becoming a zookeeper, veterinarian or zoologist!


  • Scales and Tails

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

    Join us on this Wild Connection tour to learn all about how our Aquatic & Reptile Center operates and meet some new friends! Feed the inhabitants of our Amazon River habitat which includes Onassis, the Amazon river turtle, who is the oldest animal in the Zoo. 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!

  • Giraffe Jamboree

    “Their antics will have you giraffing out loud!”

    Take a stroll to the 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!