Today's Hours: 9:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. Complete Hours

What Animals Can I See During A Visit?

Amur tiger Kash
Amur tiger Kash spends time in his pool.

Living in Wisconsin, we enjoy the beauty and scenery changes that come with transitions from spring to summer, summer to fall and fall to winter.

As the seasons and temperatures change, it affects the way animals are cared for, so throughout the year, animals who are visible to guests change seasonally.

Animals from colder regions, like snow leopards from Nepal and red pandas from the Himalayas, prefer spending time in their outdoor habitats during the cooler temperatures.

A Seasonal Guide to Visiting the Zoo: Spring

Animals visible in their habitats may change from day to day, based on weather conditions, reproductive cycles and necessary veterinary procedures.

For the best experience:

Harbor Seal Bosco
Harbor seal Bosco swims year-round in his habitat.
  • Visit the indoor buildings: Apes of Africa, Primates of the World, Aviary, Aquatic & Reptile Center, Small Mammals, Big Cat Country, Elephant Care Center, Giraffes and the Dairy Barn.
  • Explore the North American species: See above. Caribou, elk, harbor seals and North American river otters. These animals are more active in cooler weather.
  • The larger outdoor habitats are for the African species like zebra, kudu, waterbuck, impalas and gazelles. These African hoofstock are only outside with the temperature above 45 degrees Fahrenheit, and their habitats are clear of ice.

Apes & Primates

Throughout the entire year, factors like precipitation, wind, cloud cover, animal location or possible stress may impede the viewing of these animals, but as a general guideline:

  • Bonobos Gorilla & Bonobo: Outside when 40 degrees Fahrenheit and above with access to off-exhibit area
  • Orangutan: Outside when 50 degrees Fahrenheit and above with access to off-exhibit area
  • Mandrill: Outside when 40 degrees Fahrenheit and above with access to off-exhibit area
  • Siamang, Colobus & Spider Monkey: Outside when 50 degrees Fahrenheit and above with access to off-exhibit area
  • Japanese Macaque: Outside when 15 degrees Fahrenheit and above for a limited time and access to off-exhibit area
  • Lemur: Outside when 60 degrees Fahrenheit and above with access to off-exhibit area

Fast Facts

  • Clown anemone fish As seasons change, so does the activity of our animals. Some of our species prefer indoor comforts during outdoor extremes.
  • As a general guideline, warm-weather animals such as zebra, tapir, kudu, impala, waterbuck and bongo, usually have access to outdoor habitats if temperatures are above 45 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • For animals to be safe outside, their habitats need to be free of ice, which could present a danger of falling. Keepers work diligently to clear and remove ice whenever necessary.
  • Animal visibility may change from day to day, due to weather, reproductive cycles, veterinary procedures and unforeseen circumstances. In general, a variety of animals will be in their outdoor habitats including elephants, giraffes, tigers, flamingos, caribou, grizzly bears, harbor seals and alpaca, among others.
  • Hippo Haven is open seasonally – April through October. The pool must be closed in the winter.

The wellbeing of our animals is our top priority. They’re provided with engaging opportunities to encourage natural behaviors and to explore and interact with their surroundings. They also have the freedom to choose how and where they spend their time.

For a list of animals visible seasonally, when the weather permits, and a list of animals off exhibit click here.