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

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.

2019-2020 Winter Wild Connections

Giraffe Encounter

Close Encounters of the Tall KindBack by popular demand! Take a stroll to the MillerCoors Giraffe Experience on this close encounter of the tall kind that takes you behind the scenes into the home of the Zoo’s tallest animals! Meet our reticulated giraffes nose to nose and see where we care for these amazing longnecks. Help us feed our herd an afternoon snack and learn how to protect these remarkable species. Learn about their behavior, feeding habits and why their necks are so long!  You’ll be shocked to discover how gentle and graceful these giants are up close!

Rhinoceros Encounter

Raving About RhinosJoin us for this Wild Connection tour that takes you behind the scenes into the home of some of the Zoo’s toughest animals!  Be introduced to over 2,000 pounds of muscles, learn about their species’ plight in the wild and feed this dinosaur-like vegetarian. You might even get to touch their armor-like skin and see their prehensile lip in action! You’ll be raving about rhinos once you discover how charming black rhinoceros are!

Red River Hog & Alpaca Encounter

Red River HogHave you herd? Hogs are the handsomest and alpaca are the most amazing! This 30-minute Wild Connection tour will have you squealing with delight. You’ll literally go “under”-the-scenes in our hoofstock area to connect with some of the most engaging and unique animals in the Zoo. First we will meet our alpaca herd, feed them their lunchtime treats and learn about the special relationship between these friendly and curious animals and people. Then we’ll introduce our red river hog, Mango, who loves scratches, treats and enrichment toys! Guests will help keepers with his daily care while discovering why swines are most divine!

Reindeer Encounter

Caribou SantaThis Wild Connection allows you to meet and greet some of our most popular animals this time of year – our hooved reindeer residents. Migrate with us to the west end of the Zoo to learn what it takes to care for our herd of reindeer. Get close enough to hear the clicking of their hooves and feel just how heavy their antlers really are! Then, help us feed Rosie, Kyllikki, and Edan their favorite treats, as you get close to their gentle, furred faces. You’ll fa la la la love this tour! Don’t miss your last chance for this seasonal tour – offered during Frosty Free Week, Dec. 25 through Jan. 1!

Aviary Tour

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!

Aquatic & Reptile Center Tour

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 friends with scales and tails! 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!

Inca Tern Feeding

“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!