Animal Encounters

NOTE: Each person in the encounter area must have their own ticket. Animal Encounters do not include admission to the Zoo.

Add an up-close and personal experience to your visit to the Zoo with one of our Animal Encounters! During these Animal Encounters, you’ll get to meet the animals and talk to their keepers for a unique experience.

Zoo Member discounts are available. Zoo Members must be logged in to the ticketing website for the discount to appear in their cart.

Please read all our “Reservation Policies” and “What to Expect” below. All participants must sign a Participant Liability Waiver when they get to the Zoo. You can read it in advance here: Participant Liability Waiver.

Each person who participates in this encounter must have their own ticket.

We are getting our four giraffes accustomed to eating from people on the feeding deck, and now you can help! We're offering a special, extended Giraffe Encounter this year only. You have the opportunity to join our zoo keepers to learn about our giraffes and offer the boys some of their favorite foods. You'll help get the giraffes used to accepting leaves from the public so that next season, we can have single-leaf feeding on the platform! 

Only ticketed people will be allowed within the Animal Encounter area. Each encounter lasts approximately 30 minutes and is limited to 10 participants.

Encounter Days: Everyday 

Encounter Time: 12 p.m.

Individual Ticket Cost: $35 per person

Member Discount: 10%

Note: Zoo Members must be logged into their cart on the ticketing page to get the discount.

Age Restrictions: This encounter is for people age 2 and up. Children under 14 must be accompanied by a ticketed adult over 18. Each person who participates must have a ticket. Non-ticketed people cannot be on the feeding platform, but can wait on the other side of the barrier. 

Buy Tickets Here

Each person who participates in this encounter must have their own ticket.

At this encounter, you'll have the opportunity to hand feed our American bison and talk to one of our zoo keepers about our nation's largest land mammal.

Only ticketed people will be allowed within the Animal Encounter area. Each encounter lasts approximately 20 minutes and is limited to 6 participants.

Encounter Days: Every Saturday and Sunday

Encounter Time: 1 p.m.

Individual Ticket Cost: $20 per person

Member Discount: 10%

Note: Zoo Members must be logged into their cart on the ticketing page to get the discount.

Age Restrictions: Children under 14 must be accompanied by a ticketed adult over 18. Each person who participates must have a ticket. Non-ticketed people or strollers can't be in the encounter area but can wait on the other side of the fence.

Buy Tickets Here

Each person who participates in this encounter must have their own ticket.

Frannie, Sam, Shadow, and Wildcat would love to show off their intelligence during a behind-the-scenes tour and training session. Watch our animal care staff train a pair of our otters and you can have the opportunity to feed them as well!

Only ticketed people will be allowed within the Animal Encounter area. Each encounter lasts approximately 20 minutes. This is not a touch encounter.

Encounter Days: Every Saturday and Sunday

Encounter Time: 2 p.m.

Individual Ticket Cost: $35 per person

Member Discount: 10%

Note: Zoo Members must be logged into their cart on the ticketing page to get the discount.

Age Restrictions: This encounter is for people over age 2. Ticketed children under 14 must be accompanied by a ticketed adult over 18. Each person who participates must have a ticket. Babies 2 and under won't be able to wait in the encounter area. Strollers won't fit in the encounter area.

Buy Tickets Here

Each person who participates in this encounter must have their own ticket.

At this Animal Encounter, you'll have the opportunity to get up close with Masamba, our southern white rhino, in a special meet and greet area at the front of his habitat. You'll also get to speak with animal care staff about Masamba and the important role he plays as an ambassador for his wild counterparts, plus learn how we take care of him all year long. You might even have the chance to touch Masamba and feel his tough rhino skin!

Only ticketed people will be allowed within the Animal Encounter area. Each encounter lasts approximately 20 minutes. Please contact the Zoo in advance at info@potawatomizoo.org if you have questions about accessibility.

Encounter Days: Every Saturday and Sunday

Encounter Time: 11 a.m.

Individual Ticket Cost: $50 per person

Member Discount: 10%

Note: Zoo Members must be logged into their cart on the ticketing page to get the discount.

Age Restrictions: This Animal Encounter is for people ages 6 and up. Children under 14 must be accompanied by a ticketed adult over 18. Each person who participates must have a ticket. Non-ticketed people or strollers can't be in the encounter area but can wait on the Rhino Deck.

Buy Tickets Here

During your Sloth Encounter, you'll have the opportunity to get up close to our Linne's two-toed sloth, Lenny in a special meet and greet in one of our Education classrooms.  Speak with Education staff about Lenny and the important role he plays as an ambassador for his wild counterparts or have the opportunity to feed Lenny his Zoo-approved diet (subject to his participation). You can take photos with Lenny!

Please check in at the Field Trip Entrance 10 minutes prior to the encounter.

Encounter Day: Sundays by appointment.

Encounter Time:  10 a.m.

Group Encounter Cost: $250 per group of up to 6 people. $5 of the proceeds from your Sloth Encounter will be donated to our partners through the Potawatomi Zoo Conservation Fund.

Member Discount: 10%

Note: Zoo Members must be logged into their cart on the ticketing page to get the discount.

Age Restrictions: This Animal Encounter is for people ages 6 and up.

Safety Requirements: All participants will be required to wear a mask during the Sloth Encounter. This is not a touch encounter.

For questions please contact: education@potawatomizoo.org or (574) 235-9070

Buy Tickets Here
woman meeting white rhino
  • Follow all instructions of Zoo staff. Participants who do not follow instructions will be asked to leave and will not receive a refund.
  • Each person in the Animal Encounter area must have a ticket and only ticketed people will be allowed to participate in the encounter. Non-ticketed people, strollers, wagons, etc., are not allowed in the Animal Encounter area.
  • Please be aware of your surroundings and other participants.
  • All participants or guardians of participants must sign a Participant Liability Waiver.
  • The Animal Encounter will take place rain or shine.
  • Refunds or reschedules will not be issued for no-shows.
  • We take the health and safety of our animals, guests, and staff seriously. If you feel sick, please don't attend the encounter.
  • These experiences last about 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Our animals participate voluntarily. We can’t guarantee any specific experience.
  • You can take photos and video during your Animal Encounter but please be aware of other people and your surroundings.
  • Clothes may get dirty during the encounter.
  • Hand sanitizer will be provided for guests before and after the Animal Encounter.
  • Each person who participates must have a ticket (see individual Animal Encounters for specific guidelines).
  • For Rhino, Otter, and Bison, participants must check in at the Attractions and Stroller Booth no later than 30 minutes before the scheduled Animal Encounter.
  • For Sloth, participants must check in at the Field Trip Entrance 10 minutes prior to Animal Encounter.
  • All participants or guardians of participants must sign a Participant Liability Waiver before they can participate in the encounter.
  • Refunds or reschedules will not be issued for no-shows. We will allow full refunds or reschedules made at least 48 hours before the scheduled Animal Encounter.
  • The Animal Encounter will take place rain or shine.
  • The Zoo will contact you if we have to change or reschedule your Animal Encounter.
  • Children under 14 must be accompanied by a ticketed adult over the age of 18. Some Animal Encounters have other age requirements listed.
  • Only ticketed participants will be allowed in the Animal Encounter area.
  • Animal Encounters do not include admission to the Zoo.

Animal Encounters

NOTE:Each person in the encounter area must have their own ticket. Animal Encounters do not include admission to the Zoo.

Add an up-close and personal experience to your visit to the Zoo with one of our Animal Encounters! During these Animal Encounters, you’ll get to meet the animals and talk to their keepers for a unique experience.

Zoo Member discounts are available. Zoo Members must be logged in to the ticketing website for the discount to appear in their cart.

Please read all our “Reservation Policies” and “What to Expect” below. All participants must sign a Participant Liability Waiver when they get to the Zoo. You can read it in advance here: Participant Liability Waiver.

Each person who participates in this encounter must have their own ticket.

We are getting our four giraffes accustomed to eating from people on the feeding deck, and now you can help! We're offering a special, extended Giraffe Encounter this year only. You have the opportunity to join our zoo keepers to learn about our giraffes and offer the boys some of their favorite foods. You'll help get the giraffes used to accepting leaves from the public so that next season, we can have single-leaf feeding on the platform! 

Only ticketed people will be allowed within the Animal Encounter area. Each encounter lasts approximately 30 minutes and is limited to 10 participants.

Encounter Days: Everyday 

Encounter Time: 12 p.m.

Individual Ticket Cost: $35 per person

Member Discount: 10%

Note: Zoo Members must be logged into their cart on the ticketing page to get the discount.

Age Restrictions: This encounter is for people age 2 and up. Children under 14 must be accompanied by a ticketed adult over 18. Each person who participates must have a ticket. Non-ticketed people cannot be on the feeding platform, but can wait on the other side of the barrier. 

Buy Tickets Here

Each person who participates in this encounter must have their own ticket.

At this encounter, you'll have the opportunity to hand feed our American bison and talk to one of our zoo keepers about our nation's largest land mammal.

Only ticketed people will be allowed within the Animal Encounter area. Each encounter lasts approximately 20 minutes and is limited to 6 participants.

Encounter Days: Every Saturday and Sunday

Encounter Time: 1 p.m.

Individual Ticket Cost: $20 per person

Member Discount: 10%

Note: Zoo Members must be logged into their cart on the ticketing page to get the discount.

Age Restrictions: Children under 14 must be accompanied by a ticketed adult over 18. Each person who participates must have a ticket. Non-ticketed people or strollers can't be in the encounter area but can wait on the other side of the fence.

Buy Tickets Here

Each person who participates in this encounter must have their own ticket.

Frannie, Sam, Shadow, and Wildcat would love to show off their intelligence during a behind-the-scenes tour and training session. Watch our animal care staff train a pair of our otters and you can have the opportunity to feed them as well!

Only ticketed people will be allowed within the Animal Encounter area. Each encounter lasts approximately 20 minutes. This is not a touch encounter.

Encounter Days: Every Saturday and Sunday

Encounter Time: 2 p.m.

Individual Ticket Cost: $35 per person

Member Discount: 10%

Note: Zoo Members must be logged into their cart on the ticketing page to get the discount.

Age Restrictions: This encounter is for people over age 2. Ticketed children under 14 must be accompanied by a ticketed adult over 18. Each person who participates must have a ticket. Babies 2 and under won't be able to wait in the encounter area. Strollers won't fit in the encounter area.

Buy Tickets Here

Each person who participates in this encounter must have their own ticket.

At this Animal Encounter, you'll have the opportunity to get up close with Masamba, our southern white rhino, in a special meet and greet area at the front of his habitat. You'll also get to speak with animal care staff about Masamba and the important role he plays as an ambassador for his wild counterparts, plus learn how we take care of him all year long. You might even have the chance to touch Masamba and feel his tough rhino skin!

Only ticketed people will be allowed within the Animal Encounter area. Each encounter lasts approximately 20 minutes. Please contact the Zoo in advance at info@potawatomizoo.org if you have questions about accessibility.

Encounter Days: Every Saturday and Sunday

Encounter Time: 11 a.m.

Individual Ticket Cost: $50 per person

Member Discount: 10%

Note: Zoo Members must be logged into their cart on the ticketing page to get the discount.

Age Restrictions: This Animal Encounter is for people ages 6 and up. Children under 14 must be accompanied by a ticketed adult over 18. Each person who participates must have a ticket. Non-ticketed people or strollers can't be in the encounter area but can wait on the Rhino Deck.

Buy Tickets Here

During your Sloth Encounter, you'll have the opportunity to get up close to our Linne's two-toed sloth, Lenny in a special meet and greet in one of our Education classrooms.  Speak with Education staff about Lenny and the important role he plays as an ambassador for his wild counterparts or have the opportunity to feed Lenny his Zoo-approved diet (subject to his participation). You can take photos with Lenny!

Please check in at the Field Trip Entrance 10 minutes prior to the encounter.

Encounter Day: Sundays by appointment.

Encounter Time:  10 a.m.

Group Encounter Cost: $250 per group of up to 6 people. $5 of the proceeds from your Sloth Encounter will be donated to our partners through the Potawatomi Zoo Conservation Fund.

Member Discount: 10%

Note: Zoo Members must be logged into their cart on the ticketing page to get the discount.

Age Restrictions: This Animal Encounter is for people ages 6 and up.

Safety Requirements: All participants will be required to wear a mask during the Sloth Encounter. This is not a touch encounter.

For questions please contact: education@potawatomizoo.org or (574) 235-9070

Buy Tickets Here
woman meeting white rhino
  • Follow all instructions of Zoo staff. Participants who do not follow instructions will be asked to leave and will not receive a refund.
  • Each person in the Animal Encounter area must have a ticket and only ticketed people will be allowed to participate in the encounter. Non-ticketed people, strollers, wagons, etc., are not allowed in the Animal Encounter area.
  • Please be aware of your surroundings and other participants.
  • All participants or guardians of participants must sign a Participant Liability Waiver.
  • The Animal Encounter will take place rain or shine.
  • Refunds or reschedules will not be issued for no-shows.
  • We take the health and safety of our animals, guests, and staff seriously. If you feel sick, please don't attend the encounter.
  • These experiences last about 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Our animals participate voluntarily. We can’t guarantee any specific experience.
  • You can take photos and video during your Animal Encounter but please be aware of other people and your surroundings.
  • Clothes may get dirty during the encounter.
  • Hand sanitizer will be provided for guests before and after the Animal Encounter.
  • Each person who participates must have a ticket (see individual Animal Encounters for specific guidelines).
  • For Rhino, Otter, and Bison, participants must check in at the Attractions and Stroller Booth no later than 30 minutes before the scheduled Animal Encounter.
  • For Sloth, participants must check in at the Field Trip Entrance 10 minutes prior to Animal Encounter.
  • All participants or guardians of participants must sign a Participant Liability Waiver before they can participate in the encounter.
  • Refunds or reschedules will not be issued for no-shows. We will allow full refunds or reschedules made at least 48 hours before the scheduled Animal Encounter.
  • The Animal Encounter will take place rain or shine.
  • The Zoo will contact you if we have to change or reschedule your Animal Encounter.
  • Children under 14 must be accompanied by a ticketed adult over the age of 18. Some Animal Encounters have other age requirements listed.
  • Only ticketed participants will be allowed in the Animal Encounter area.
  • Animal Encounters do not include admission to the Zoo.

Keeper Chats

Our Zoo keepers and Education staff love to talk about the animals in their care! Keeper Chats vary daily, so look for the Keeper Chat sign around the Zoo. These include meet and greets with ambassador animals, watching animals receive enrichment or food treats, and learning about animals around the Zoo.

Please Note: All Keeper Chats are subject to change without notification. These are not touch or feeding encounters.

Scheduled every day at:

11:30 am

1:30 pm

2:30 pm

Keeper Chats

Our Zoo keepers and Education staff love to talk about the animals in their care! Keeper Chats vary daily, so look for the Keeper Chat sign around the Zoo. These include meet and greets with ambassador animals, watching animals receive enrichment or food treats, and learning about animals around the Zoo.

Please Note: All Keeper Chats are subject to change without notification. These are not touch or feeding encounters.

Scheduled every day at:

11:30 am

1:30 pm

2:30 pm