Wild Encounters

If you’ve yearned to get closer to the animals, now you can! Behind-the-scenes experiences with some of our wildest residents turn a trip to the Zoo into the chance of a lifetime.
  • Wild Encounters must be reserved in advance.
  • Due to animal safety regulations, guests who have been outside of the United States or Canada within 10 days prior to the program will not be allowed to participate.
  • Programs involving the Zoo’s animal collection are subject to change or cancellation based on animal needs.
  • Please arrive at the designated area 15 minutes before your Wild Encounter.

‚ÄčAge notices

  • 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.
  • Children 3 to 8 years old must be assisted by parent/guardian while feeding.
  • Children 13 years old and under must be accompanied by an adult who has also purchased a Wild Encounter ticket. A ticket is required for each participant 3 years old and older.

Support Zoo Atlanta's efforts to conserve wild animals in their native habitats with a donation to the The Mabel Dorn Reeder Conservation Endowment Fund. Find out more>


Note to dog and cat owners:

If you have a dog or a cat that has been diagnosed with any infectious diseases within the 2 weeks prior to the program and/or has had any lethargy, depression, runny nose, coughing, fever or has been off food in the 14 days prior to the program, please discuss this with Zoo Atlanta staff before making a reservation. 



Giant panda

Meet and feed one of Zoo Atlanta’s world-famous black-and-white ADULT bears during an exclusive behind-the-scenes encounter. 

Cost, per person: $145 Members / $160 non-Members + Zoo admission
Time: 11:00 - 11:55 a.m.
Capacity: 8 participants
Availability: Fri - Mon 

Meet at giant panda exhibit, covered viewing area fifteen minutes before the Wild Encounter. 

*It’s an exciting time of the year – our giant pandas have entered their breeding season! Guests may book encounters during this time, however, any Giant Panda Wild Encounter scheduled between April and November 2016 may be subject to last-minute rescheduling or cancellation. Please keep this in mind when booking encounters and thanks for your patience and understanding.

Want to spend more time with a giant panda? Guests 14 years old or older can check out our Keeper for a Day option!

Aldabra tortoise

Meet the ancient giants of Aldabra Atoll. See, feed, and touch one of the world’s largest living tortoise species in the only Wild Encounter experience that allows guests to share the same space with the animals. *During the colder months, guests will meet and feed the tortoises inside their greenhouse. This area is not accessible for wheelchairs, walkers, crutches or other mobility devices.
Cost, per person: $35 Members / $39 non-Members + Zoo admission
Time: 1:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Capacity: 6 participants
Availability: Fri - Mon 
Meet at the Georgia Extremes building at Scaly, Slimy Spectacular: The Amphibian and Reptile Experience, fifteen minutes before the Wild Encounter.  

African elephant

No creature looms larger over the savanna than the African elephant, and you’ll agree when one of ours comes over to meet you during an unforgettable encounter! Meet Kelly or Tara, and hand-feed one of the “girls” an afternoon snack. You even get to touch!

Cost, per person: $75 Members / $79 non-Members + Zoo admission
Time: 1:45 p.m. - 2:20 p.m.
Capacity: 10 participants

Availability: Fri - Mon

Meet at elephant bridge (near parakeets) fifteen minutes before the Wild Encounter. 


Introducing our first primate Wild Encounter! Meet and feed some of the amazing primates that make the island of Madagascar one of Earth's richest and most dynamic natural ecosystems.

Cost, per person: $31 Members / $35 non-Members + Zoo admission
Time: 2:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Capacity: 6 participants


Meet outside the entrance to the Living Tree House fifteen minutes before the Wild Encounter. 

*Currently unavailable due to exhibit upgrade.

Combo Ticket:

Go on all three Wild Encounters!
Why choose? Meet an African elephant, Aldabra tortoise, and an adult Giant panda during your Zoo visit and save on all three encounters.

Cost, per person: $224 Members /$243 non-Members + Zoo admission
Time: 11:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Capacity: 6 participants
Availability: Friday through Monday only

Meet at the giant panda exhibit, covered viewing area

Call 404-624-5822 to make your combo reservation.

Private Wild Encounters:

Groups of two or more may schedule private Wild Encounters with other animals by calling 404.624.5822 or emailing Scheduling is subject to availability and staffing. 

Private Wild Encounters are available for any special occasion: wedding proposals, prom and more! Please call 404.624.5822 for more information.

Wild Encounter Gift Certificate

Give the adventure of lifelong learning. Here’s an idea we can promise won’t be re-gifted: give a certificate for one of Zoo Atlanta’s education programs! You may also purchase gift certificates in $25 increments up to $100. Program restrictions apply.