Close encounters of the wild kind!

Get a remarkable view on a RendeZoo with your favorite animal.

Each on-grounds encounter lasts 20-30 minutes, includes photo opportunities and a Q&A session. Encounters are available 7 days a week from 11:00 a.m to 3:00 p.m. based on availability and weather. Receive a 10% discount when you purchase 3 or more encounters at one time.
+ $5 for each additional person up to the maximum.
One (1) adult for every 3 children under 12 years of age is required.

Requests for Animal RendeZoos must be scheduled with a minimum of two weeks advance notice. Gift certificates are available and may be purchased at the front gate, the main office, or by phone at 417-833-1570. For more information or to schedule, contact Chelsea Hoover, Event Coordinator, at encounters@dickersonparkzoo.org.

  • Aldabra Tortoises
  • $50
    per group (6 people)
  • Encounter for up to 6 people. ~ 2 adult required.
  • Maximum of 12 people.
  • Up-close encounter! Note! Everyone must wear close-toed shoes. Children must be 5 years of age to participate.
  • Zebras
  • $50
    per group (3 people)
  • Encounter for up to 3 people ~ 1 adult required.
  • Maximum of 12 people.
  • Feed the zebras! Feedings occur through a barrier.
  • White Tailed Deer
  • $50
    per group (3 people)
  • Encounter for up to 3 people ~ 1 adult required.
  • Maximum of 12 people.
  • Feed the Deer! Feedings occur through a barrier.
  • River Otters
  • $50
    per group (3 people)
  • Encounter for up to 3 people. ~ 1 adult required.
  • Maximum of 8 people.
  • Feed the otters! Feedings occur through a barrier.
  • Commissary
  • $30
    per group (12 people)
  • Tour for up to 12 people ~ 1 adult required.
  • Maximum of 12 people.
  • Get a quick view inside the kitchen for the zoo animals. See how food for more than 500 animals is prepared daily. Check out the walk-in cooler, freezer, and dry food storage area.
  • Siamangs (lesser ape)
  • $75
    per group (6 people)
  • Encounter for up to 6 people ~ 2 adults required.
  • Maximum of 8 people
  • Up-close encounter! Includes a "keeper's choice" activity.
  • Giraffes
  • $75
    per group (6 people)
  • Tour for up to 6 people ~ 2 adult required.
  • Maximum of 12 people.
  • Go behind the scenes to learn more about the giraffes and how the staff takes care of them! Includes feeding encounter.
  • Reptiles
  • $75
    per group (6 people)
  • Tour for up to 6 people ~ 2 adults required.
  • Maximum of 12 people.
  • Go behind the scenes in our Diversity of Life building to learn more about the reptiles and how the staff takes care of them! Includes up-close encounters (non-venomous). Children must be 5 years of age or older.
  • Hippos
  • $75
    per group (6 people)
  • Encounter for up to 6 people ~ 2 adult required.
  • Maximum of 8 people.
  • Feed the hippo girls! Feedings occur through a barrier.
  • Tiger, Lion, Cougar, OR Bear
  • $100
    per group (6 people)
  • Tour for up to 6 people ~ 2 adults required.
  • Maximum of 8 people.
  • Go behind the scenes to see off-exhibit areas to learn more about the tigers, lions, cougars, or bears. Includes "keeper's choice" activity.
  • Female Elephant
  • $150
    per group (8 people)
  • Encounter for up to 8 people ~ 2 adults required.
  • Maximum of 8 people.
  • Includes a training presentation and feeding opportunity! Feeding occurs through a barrier. Plus, you get to take home an original painting done by either female elephant - $40 value!
  • Male Elephant
  • $200
    per group (8 people)
  • Tour for up to 8 people ~ Adults only.
  • Maximum of 8 people.
  • See restricted areas not available for public viewing, including the Elephant Restraint Device (ERD) and an elephant training presentation. Plus, you will get to take home an original painting done by the male elephant - $40 value!
  • Animal Hospital
  • $250
    per group (5 people)
  • Tour for up to 5 people ~ 1 Adult.
  • Maximum of 5 people.
  • Go behind the scenes with Dickerson Park Zoo’s veterinarian and staff as they perform a checkup or medical procedure. Follow up with a Q & A session with Dr. Schnellbacher. This is an ideal experience for future veterinarians, zookeepers, or all animal lovers.
  • Procedure is at the veterinarian’s discretion. This encounter is for ages 12 and up. Please schedule one month in advance and allow two hours for the encounter. Please note: no cameras or videos will be allowed during the medical procedure.
TOP