Open Today: 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Complete Hours


March 8 and 9, 2014

African elephant, Ruth

Posted February 2014

When was the last time you watched an orangutan interact with an iPad? Would you like to know how the water is maintained for our Aquatic and Reptile Center underwater exhibits? Where do the Zoo’s warm-weather animals reside during Wisconsin’s cold winter months? These and many other interesting questions will be revealed during the Milwaukee County Zoo’s Behind the Scenes Weekend, Saturday, March 8, and Sunday, March 9.

From 10 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. both days, the Milwaukee County Zoo will provide tours of many Zoo locations not normally open to the public. Behind the Scenes Weekend is designed to give visitors a new perspective and appreciation of the work that takes place “behind closed doors” at the Zoo. Public tour highlights will include:

  • Florence Mila Borchert Big Cat Country: Tour behind the scenes lion dens to see where our felines reside when not on exhibit. Get a close look at some of the enrichment items that help keep our felines stimulated and active.
  • Small Mammal Kitchen: Visit the kitchen where the small mammals’ meals are prepared and see the many different types of food they eat.
  • iPad Session with the Orangutans: iPads are not just for people! Watch as our orangutans participate in an enrichment session using digital technology (Saturday only).
  • Elephants: Step into an elephant stall, or walk in the outside elephant yard to see how keepers care for these magnificent animals! See the giant “toys” our female African elephants, Ruth and Brittany, interact with. Tour location to be based on weather conditions.
  • Aquatic & Reptile Center (ARC): Walk down a flight of stairs to the basement of the Aquatic & Reptile Center and see how the thousands of gallons of ARC exhibit water is maintained. Get an up close look at the filtration system and fish quarantine area. The ARC basement is also the winter home to our tortoises.
  • Winter Quarters: Go underground from the Big Cats building and see where our warm-weather animals live during the cold winter months. See our hoof-stock animals in their heated environment.
Our dedicated and specially trained Zoo Pride volunteers will serve as tour guides for Behind the Scenes Weekend. Guests are encouraged to ask questions. Due to the nature of some tours, several locations are not handicapped accessible. All tours are included in regular Zoo admission, and are conducted on a first come, first serve basis. $11.75 admission for adults, $8.75 for juniors (ages 3-12), $10.25 for seniors (age 60 and over); $12 for parking. Milwaukee County residents with proper identification receive $1.75 off regular Zoo admission.