Close encounters of the wild kind!

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

How Animal RendeZoos Work:

Book your *Animal RendeZoo by choosing your animal from the list provided below. Then, contact us to schedule your encounter using the email or phone number below. You may bring up to three of your favorite people with you to get closer to an animal of your choice with Zoo staff.

  1. The number of people permitted is dependent upon the animal chosen and is thus subject to the discretion of Zoo staff at the time of booking.
  2. What you do or experience during the encounters can vary depending upon the animal chosen. A typical encounter often includes helping to feed the animals (with use of appropriate feeding utensils), or giving the animals enrichment items and watching them interact with them.
  3. You will get to meet the keepers and take photos of the animals behind the scenes.

*Note: All encounters will be conducted in a protected contact situation. In most cases touching the animal will not be available.

Days & Times:

Daily between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.
Encounters are 30 minutes long with the species of your choice.

Cost:

Specified next to the species for up to four people.
Additional people, if permitted, can be added for $25 per person.

  • Payment in full will be required upon booking.
  • Some experiences may be limited to fewer participants.
  • Cancellations will be refunded with a minimum 24 hours notice.
  • Receive a 10% discount when 3 or more encounters are booked together.

Restrictions:

  • One (1) adult for every 3 children under 12 years of age is required.
  • Age: Minimum of 5 years old for certain encounters.
  • Children 2 years old and under are FREE and may attend, but are not permitted to feed the animals.
  • Children 4 years old and under must be carried or held by the hand of an adult in their group.

To Schedule:

A minimum of (2) two weeks is required for scheduling an Animal RendeZoo.

Email encounters@dickersonparkzoo.org or call 417-833-1570

  • Aldabra Tortoises
  • $80
    per group (4 people)
  • Encounter for up to 4 people. ~ 1 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
  • $80
    per group (4 people)
  • Encounter for up to 4 people ~ 1 adult required.
  • Maximum of 12 people.
  • Feed the zebras! Feedings occur through a barrier.
  • White Tailed Deer
  • $80
    per group (4 people)
  • Encounter for up to 4 people ~ 1 adult required.
  • Maximum of 12 people.
  • Feed the Deer! Feedings occur through a barrier.
  • River Otters
  • $80
    per group (4 people)
  • Encounter for up to 4 people. ~ 1 adult required.
  • Maximum of 8 people.
  • Feed the otters! Feedings occur through a barrier.
  • Commissary
  • $30
    per group (4 people)
  • Tour for up to 4 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)
  • $80
    per group (4 people)
  • Encounter for up to 4 people ~ 1 adult required.
  • Maximum of 8 people
  • Up-close encounter! Includes a "keeper's choice" activity.
  • Giraffes
  • $80
    per group (4 people)
  • Tour for up to 4 people ~ 1 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
  • $80
    per group (4 people)
  • Tour for up to 4 people ~ 1 adult 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
  • $100
    per group (4 people)
  • Encounter for up to 4 people ~ 1 adult required.
  • Maximum of 8 people.
  • Feed the hippo girls! Feedings occur through a barrier.
  • Tiger, Lion, Cougar, OR Bear
  • $100
    per group (4 people)
  • Tour for up to 4 people ~ 1 adult 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 (4 people)
  • Encounter for up to 4 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 a special souvenir from your experience!
  • Male Elephant
  • $200
    per group (4 people)
  • Tour for up to 4 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 a special souvenir from your experience!
  • 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.
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