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Wild Connections

Wild ConnectionsWe’re excited to offer guests their very own Secret Safari through our new Wild Connections animal encounter program.

These up-close encounters, with a variety of furry, feathered and finned animals, let visitors go nose to whisker with residents like our popular Amur tigers, and eyes to antler with the North American caribou.

You’ll get the inside scoop on what it’s like to care for the animals, their unique adaptations and behaviors and even their favorite foods and treats!

These rare tour opportunities not only let you see some of these magnificent animals in a more personal way, they serve as very real “conservation connections,” helping the Zoo’s animals, and also their counterparts in the wild.

The Zoo both participates in, and supports a variety of animal programs to enhance the wellbeing of at-risk animal populations from around the world.

Make plans now for an up-close connection – our animals are roaring to see you!

Questions? Send us an email: zoo.wildconnections@milwaukeecountywi.gov

Make your reservation today!

A range of tour costs are offered, as well as days and times to make your reservation.

2019 Fall Wild Connections

It's a Black Tie Affair

It's a Black Tie AffairShake your tail feathers and waddle on over to the Zoo to experience this fishy 30-minute Wild Connections tour. Starting at the Herb and Nada Mahler Family Aviary, home to the cold-loving rockhopper and Gentoo penguins, a penguin keeper will introduce you to all of the unique adaptations that make penguins so exceptional and special. From there, you will head to our Taylor Family Humboldt Penguin Exhibit to see these adaptations in action as you feed Houdini, Anchovy and the rest of the colony. You will be amazed at how they “fly” through the water for their enticing treats!  Warning: Splash Zone!

Birds of a Feather

Birds of a FeatherJoin us for this Wild Connection with a tour that will take us behind the scenes at the Herb and Nada Mahler Family Aviary, home to Milwaukee County Zoo’s diverse variety of feathered friends.  Take a tour of the kitchen and learn what it takes to feed the birds on a daily basis.  Visit one of our exhibits for a close-up encounter with some of our friendliest residents.  Learn about our conservation programs in the free flight habitat while offering some tasty treats to our high-flying terns, ibis and ducks.  Come see how we keep all our ducks in a row!

Scales and Tails

Scales and TailsJoin us on this Wild Connection tour to learn all about how our Aquatic and Reptile Center operates and meet some of our cold-blooded friends!  Explore the inner workings to see what it takes to keep a 28,000-gallon aquarium running and discover the specialized diets for some of our most distinct species.  Then we’ll climb above Lake Wisconsin to mingle with our snakes, lizards or turtles, some of our most unique ambassadors!

“Meat” the Carnivores

“Meat” the CarnivoresJoin us for this Wild Connection that takes us behind the scenes at the Florence Mila Borchert Big Cat Country.  Take a tour of the kitchen to see the 75 pounds of meat it takes to feed the cats daily.  Then we’ll visit one of the dens for an up-close view of where our cats are fed, weighed and trained.  Finally, we’ll get to meet a special friend, the tayra (a mammal from the weasel family, found in the forests of Central and South America).  This tour allows for purr-fect access to all the important “spots.”

Earn Your (Tiger) Stripes

Earn Your (Tiger) StripesThis exciting Wild Connection takes us behind the scenes at the Florence Mila Borchert Big Cat Country to learn about what it takes to be an Amur tiger trainer and conservation champion!  Help prepare a tasty snack for the tigers and get a close-up look at what the big cats eat.  Take this rare opportunity to participate in a training session with one of the tigers and learn from animal care experts about what they do every day to ensure that the cats receive the best care. You’ll be in awe of the amazing relationship animal care staff have with these 400-pound furry felines!

“Tern” Around Feeding Experience

“Tern” Around Feeding ExperienceTake flight with the flock!  Join us for this Wild Connection that includes both scales and feathers!  We’ll meet some of our most playful and colorful residents up close and personal at the Herb and Nada Mahler Family Aviary.  First stop is an opportunity to learn about our school of koi and practice your feeding skills.  Then we’ll move into our Free Flight habitat where we’ll get a chance to feed fish to some of our favorites in the flock -- our mustached Inca terns.  This tour is guaranteed to make a bird lover out of anyone!