Zoo hours for 2024: The zoo is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The last entry is at 4 p.m. The zoo is closed on Mondays, except for Memorial Day, Labor Day, and Indigenous Peoples Day. Please note that some exhibits are closed due to construction. For more information, visit 'Plan Your Visit' - 'Hours & Pricing'. (dismiss)
Animal Encounters

Animal Encounters include

(All encounters include admission into the zoo when it’s open for general admission)

Reservations must be made at least one week in advance.


 We invite you to experience a one of a kind encounter with one of the most unique mammals in the world.  This new opportunity offers an up close and personal meet and greet with one of our newest zoo family members.  Learn about sloth natural history, some of our sloths most favorite things and rain forest conservation.  You can take a selfie with the sloth and treasure your encounter for a lifetime!  You may also have the opportunity to feed our sloth some of its favorite foods!

Ages: 5+| Days: Tuesday-Saturday (offered year round!)
Time: 2 p.m.- 2:45 p.m. (during open season)  &  1 p.m.- 1:45 p.m. (during off-season)
Number of guests: min of 2-max of 4

Members: $150 per person
NonMembers: $175 per person

White Rhino

 Come face-to-face with the second-largest land mammal in the world and discover why the southern white rhino is so special.  During this encounter our zookeepers will share firsthand knowledge about rhino natural history, their conservation status, what our rhino loves to eat and which enrichment is his favorite.  Observe a training session with our rhino and you may also have the opportunity to feed him some of his favorite foods in a face to face experience.

Ages: 5+| Days: Sunday, Tuesday, Friday (offered year round!)
Time: 11 a.m.-11:45 a.m. | Number of guests: min of 2-max of 6

Members: $100 per person
NonMembers: $125 person

Aldabra Tortoises

 Say hello to a giant tortoise!  Growing up to over a meter long and 500lbs.  Aldabra tortoises are one of two giant tortoise species left on the planet.  Create a connection with these magnificent animals when you visit them in their home at Niabi Zoo.  Have you ever wondered what they eat?  If they can swim?  Find out when their keeper introduces you!

 The highlight of your encounter is being close enough to touch these incredible animals!  Learn about their natural history and every day care during your encounter experience.  Plan your visit from May-September during the warm weather they love!

Ages: 5+| Days: Sunday-Saturday (available May-Sept)
Time: 11 a.m.-11:30 a.m. | Number of guests: min of 2-max of 4

Members: $50 per person
NonMembers: $75 per person

General Information about animal encounters


  • All Participants must wear a face covering, mask/face shield covering the nose and mouth during the entire encounter.
  • Select Animal Encounters are available year round, even when the zoo is closed to general admission!
  • Animal Encounters are 30-45 minutes.
  • Children ages 14 and under must be accompanied by a paying adult.
  • Guests must wear closed-toed shoes to protect their entire foot.
  • Liability wavier must be signed electronically at the time of booking an Animal Encounter.
  • Photos are permitted in areas of the tour that take place in public viewing areas.
  • Programs involving zoo animals are subject to change or be canceled based on animal needs. Every effort will be made to offer alternate areas or reschedule tours.

Register for an Animal Encounter today!

Reservations must be made at least one week in advance.

Book Now 

Gift an Animal Encounter!

Not sure what to give someone that loves animals?  Purchase an animal encounter that allows the participant to go behind the scenes and have the opportunity to feed a sloth or rhino some of their favorite foods!

Please click the Gift an Animal Encounter link below to gift an Animal Encounter!  eGift Cards can be emailed to you or the recipient’s email.

Gift an Animal Encounter