Utica Zoo Animal Encounters

Have you ever wanted to get up close and personal with some of the animals at the Utica Zoo? With our Animal Encounter packages, you can now make your Zoo visit extraordinary!

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  • African Lions: Go inside the Lions Den for a behind the scenes look at our three African Lions. See how our keepers use specialized training to feed and keep the big cats healthy and happy! No personal cameras are allowed. $1,000 total for up to 5 people, and zoo admission is included. ($750 of the $1,000 is a tax-deductible donation). Only one African Lion encounter is offered per week.
  • Red Pandas: Go on exhibit with our Red Pandas to hand feed them their favorite treat! Have all of your questions answered by one of our Zoo Keepers. Bring your camera. $180 total for up to two people age 12+, and zoo admission is included. Only two red panda encounters are offered per week via the Species Survival Plan. This is our most popular encounter, and we are usually booked for three months in advance, so book early! Encounter usually lasts 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Camels: Get extra close to feed Najla her favorite treats. You’ll be impressed by how large a Bactrian Camel is! Bring your camera. $75 total for up 5 people, and zoo admission is included.
  • Children’s Zoo Contact Yard: Be on exhibit with our Nigerian Dwarf Goats as you go behind the fence to get up close and personal. Bring your camera. $40 total for up to 5 people, and zoo admission is included.

Email events@uticazoo.org or call (315) 738-0472 ext. 22 for availability and booking. Must book at least one week in advance and place a deposit. Deposit is non-refundable.

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Utica Zoo visitor feeds a Red Panda during an Animal Encounter.