Utica Zoo Animal Encounters

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

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.

  • African Lions: Go inside our Cat building for a behind the scenes look at our Lions. See how our keepers use specialized training to feed and keep the cats healthy and happy. The Utica Zoo will provide you with an 8 x 10 of your encounter (photo for personal use only, no personal cameras allowed). Admission is included. $1,000
  • California Sea Lions: Go behind the scenes to visit our California Sea Lions and get your questions answered by their keeper. Bring your camera. Admission is included. $250. Only 1 sea lion encounter is offered per week.
  • Red Pandas: Be on exhibit with our Red Pandas as you go inside with them to feed them their favorite treat! Bring your camera. Admission is included. $125. This encounter is for 2 people age 12+. Only 2 red panda encounters are offered per week as per the Species Survival Plan.
  • Camels: Get behind the scenes and extra close to feed Nigel and Najla their favorite treat. Bring your camera. Admission is included. $75
  • 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. Admission is included. $40

Email mike.beck@uticazoo.org for availability and booking or call (315) 738-0472 Ext. 49. Must book at least a week in advance.

Each encounter (other than Red Panda) includes up to 5 people. Additional $25 per person after 5 people. Number of groups per day is determined by staff.


Utica Zoo visitors feeding camels during a Camel Encounter.