Open Today: 9:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. Complete Hours

See the Zoo REVEALED During

Behind the Scenes Weekend

Sponsored by Prairie Farms Dairy

March 12 & 13, 2016
10 a.m. to 2:45 p.m.

Bat talk

Visit the Zoo for a weekend filled with special behind-the-scenes tours of areas not normally open to visitors. Our Zoo Pride volunteers will serve as your tour guides for the day, and they’re happy to answer questions.

Brief waiting times and early closings may occur at the more popular locations. Because of the nature of some of the tours, we apologize that certain areas aren’t handicapped accessible. 

All tours and activities are subject to last-minute scheduling changes or cancellations due to the well-being of the animals.

Behind-the-Scenes Areas

  • Sensory Safari (9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.)
    Have you ever wondered what it would feel like to reach out and touch one of our animals? Sensory Safari caters to our visitors with special needs and features animal mounts that can be touched. Located in the U.S. Bank Gathering Place
  • Aquatic & Reptile Center (ARC) – Basement
    Here visitors will see the building’s extensive filtration system, fish quarantine area and the winter home of our tortoises. This tour requires walking stairs.
  • Small Mammals’ Kitchen
    See what we feed our small mammals and learn about the enrichment items that keep them active.
  • Winter Quarters
    See the underground facility where our warm-weather animals reside during Wisconsin’s cold winters, below the Big Cat Building.
  • Camels
    On your way out of Winter Quarters, stop at the Camel Barn, and you’ll learn how our hearty Bactrian camels handle the cold winter.
  • Elk Barn
    How does an elk shed its antlers? What do elk eat? Learn these answers and even more facts about this great North American mammal.
  • Elephants
    Our Zoo is home to female African elephants, Ruth and Brittany. Tour this area to see how keepers care for these magnificent animals.
  • Harbor seal Siku
    See the off exhibit saltwater baths that our harbor seals enjoy. Shown here, Siku.
  • Harbor Seals/Polar Bear
    See the off exhibit holding areas for these North American residents: the saltwater baths for the seals; and the polar bear kitchen; complete with lard and meat for our mighty Arctic bear! This tour requires walking stairs.
  • Zoo Library
    Our library is stocked full of information about animal nutrition, animal management, zoological science and zoo administration. Learn about our journals and historical archives.
  • Zoo Pride
    Meet our valuable Zoo Pride volunteers. Purchase candy bars and wristbands, with all proceeds benefiting the Annual Appeal for Zoo webcams. Located near the indoor Orangutan Exhibit

South End

  • Commissary
    Tour the “grocery store” that houses our animals’ food and marvel at the huge selection.
  • Zoo Train Shop
    Talk to our train engineers, sit in a train coach and examine the train engines. Learn about our steam engine and coal-powered trains.
  • Greenhouses
    The Zoo’s horticultural staff will provide greenhouse tours. See where the Zoo’s plants and flowers are already growing for spring planting.
  • Grounds Equipment
    How does the Zoo maintain its 200-acre property? See the large machinery that helps us to keep our Zoo in beautiful condition.

New This Year!

  • A Day in the Life – Media Presentation
    Explore some extra special media showcasing what happens behind the scenes. Check out our slideshow, “A Day in the Life of the Zoo.” See how our jaguars create works of art, experience what it’s like to be an elephant keeper! iPad kiosks located near the Outdoor Gorilla Observation Window

For more information on this special weekend, please call the Zoo at 414.771.3040.

Special thanks to our Behind the Scenes Weekend sponsor:

Prairie Farms Dairy