Up-Close Animal Encounters

Backstage Experience

This adventure is for guests 5 years of age and older.

Are you looking for a more exclusive and in-depth look at Denver Zoo? If so, Backstage Experience is for you!

Your personal tour guide will escort you on a private visit of our Animal Ambassador areas – home to over 90 individual animals – where you might touch a turtle, spend time with snakes or be tickled by a tamandua’s tongue! This exclusive tour includes a variety of up-close encounters, followed by an animal feeding or training demonstration. Then, it’s off to meet the stars of the Wildlife Show, where you’ll go behind the scenes to see how we care for these charismatic animals. Prepare to be dazzled by the talents of exotic parrots, majestic birds of prey, and mammals both prickly and cuddly. When the entertainment wraps up there, you are free to enjoy the zoo at your leisure.

Elephant Encounter

This adventure is for guest 12 years of age and older.

Get to know more about Denver Zoo's beloved elephants while discovering a different side of Denver Zoo's newest exhibit Toyota Elephant Passage. Participate in an elephant training session after their daily demonstration, and then go behind the scenes and gain some insider knowledge from the animal keepers who care for these unique, charismatic creatures every day.

Giraffe Feeding

This adventure is for guests of all ages.

*PLEASE NOTE - Children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by a paid participant that is 16 years of age or older

Our new Giraffe Feeding will give you a chance to hand feed one of our resident giraffes. In addition to the feeding, you will have exclusive access to giraffe experts that will help you get to know each member of the herd. You will be in awe of their long necks, rough tongues and adorable ossicones. Just watch out for the drool!

Hippo Encounter

This adventure is for guests 10 years of age and older.

Meet long time Denver Zoo resident Mahali the hippo during this up close and personal experience. Participants will have exclusive access to the outdoor hippo habitat in our new encounter space, opprotunities to learn from his keepers how they care for him, and help toss food to Mahali! Do you have what it takes to hit a four foot target from just a few feet away? Start practicing your aim!

Up Close Look: Lemurs

This adventure is for guests guests of all ages.

Join us for a chance to get an in-depth look at one of the most popular animals at the zoo, lemurs! Begin by watching our resident ring-tailed and red-ruffed lemurs leap and jump in their habitat, while learning from your host about the way that Denver Zoo cares these playful primates. Then, meet up with some of the animal care staff that work with lemurs every day. During this time, you'll get the exclusive opportunity to watch one of our resident aye-aye receive a special treat. Please note that because of safety regulations, guests will not receive direct contact or behind-the-scenes access to the animals, but rather will get the opportunity to learn more about lemurs from exclusive interactions with zoo experts.

Penguin Encounter

This adventure is for guests 8 years of age and older.

Explore Denver Zoo like never before! The Penguin Encounter is a 60 minute guided tour providing guests with an intimate look at how Denver Zoo cares for these charismatic creatures and how to protect them in the wild. The encounter includes a guided tour through Denver Zoo's Bird World exhibit, behind the scenes access and an up-close encounter with one of the zoo's African Penguins.

Predator Ridge Encounter

This adventure is for guests 10 years of age or older.

Take an African safari right here in Denver by joining us on this exclusive tour. Go behind the scenes at the award winning Benson's Predator Ridge to meet some of our social carnivores. During this behind the scenes tour you will have a chance to get to know majestic African lions, playful African wild dogs, or super smart spotted hyenas. You'll learn more about these inspiring animals from the animal experts who care for them every day. Seats are limited, so sign up for this amazing opportunity today.

Tiger Encounter

This adventure is for guests 12 years of age or older.

Experience The Edge Through the Eyes of a Tiger! This tour will take you behind the scenes at The Edge, Denver Zoo's Amur tiger exhibit. Participants will get an up close view of a training session with one of The Edge's resident tigers and learn from animal care experts about what they do every day to ensure that these cats receive the best care.  You ll be in awe of the amazing relationship animal care staff have with these 400 pound furry felines!

Tropical Discovery Encounter

This adventure is for guests 5 years of age or older.

For lovers of reptiles, frogs and fish! Take a one of a kind look into Tropical Discovery, home to all things slithery, slimy, and scaly. You'll be transported into an exotic rainforest habitat that is home to over 300 species and visit two different behind the scenes areas; a face to face visit with the Komodo dragons, and a second area that is the keepers choice! It may be a bird's eye look into our 16,000 gal. Pacific Reef habitat or meeting a frog thought to be extinct in the wild, just to name a few. Each experience is different, so an adventurous attitude is recommended!

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