Hours: 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.

2021 Summer Wild Connections

What We’re Doing to Keep Visitors and Staff Safe:

  • Participants will be from the same group.
  • Masks are required for participants 3+, while in any indoor space. Keepers will continue to wear masks indoors and outdoors.
  • All touched surfaces are thoroughly sanitized before and after each experience.
  • Either handwashing and/or sanitizing is available and encouraged before and after each experience.

Bear Necessities

Bear Necessities“You’ll have a fur-tastic experience!”

Have you ever wanted to see a 1,000-pound brown bear up close? Here’s your chance!  On this experience you’ll learn about everything bear!  From where our bears came from, and the how’s and why’s of hibernation, to the differences between bear species, you’ll bearly believe how amazing these animals are!  Help us make enrichment for one of our bears and watch him enjoy it behind the scenes while learning about all that goes into bear care at the Zoo.  It will be a paws-itively good time!

Antelope Antics

“Meet our Zoo’s own rhythm section!”

Antelope AnticsJoin us for this exclusive Wild Connections tour that takes you behind the scenes in one of our newest areas, Adventure Africa!  See how our Australia building was transformed into an amazing space for our African birds and hooved animals as you learn about habitat design and zoo planning. Then meet the coolest antelope in the Zoo, our Eastern bongo! Eastern bongo are critically endangered and zoos are playing an important role in conserving the species in the wild.  You’ll also get to meet and feed bongo “band mates,” our crested guineafowl, who provide the vocals!  This experience is bound to drum up some fun!

Elephant Extravaganza

“A tour you will never forget!”

Elephant Extravaganza  - Sold OutJoin us for this exclusive Wild Connections tour that goes INTO the Adventure Africa Elephant Habitat!  Don’t worry, the elephants won’t be in the habitat with you!  You will get to set up their morning breakfast in the outdoor habitat and then see how they enjoy the fruits of your labor!  During the tour, you’ll learn about our three elephants and what we do to provide the best possible care for them in their new home.  On this amazing tour, you will get to decide where to place their food and see how their unique adaptations allow them to find it and enjoy!  Pack your trunk and come join us!

Mouse Deer Mania

“Chevrotaining the masses!”

Mouse Deer ManiaWait! Are they mouse or deer? And why are they in the habitat with the birds? All these questions and more will be answered during this exclusive Wild Connections tour that lets you feed one of the smallest and cutest hooved animals in the world!  Also called Malayan Chevrotains, our trio of mouse deer are neither true deer or mice, but they are not shy and love to get treats from new friends.  Come meet Opal, Rain and Ruby at the end of your visit to the Milwaukee County Zoo!

Penguin Pool Party

“It’s a Black-Tie Affair!”

Penguin Pool Party - Sold OutShake your tail feathers and waddle on over to the Milwaukee County Zoo to experience this fishy 30-minute Wild Connections tour. One of our penguin experts will lead you behind the scenes at the Taylor Family Humboldt Penguin habitat to see what it takes to keep the penguins happy and healthy. Then you will learn all about penguin behaviors, adaptations, and conservation. Finally, you will get to feed Houdini, Wallace, and the rest of the colony as they “fly” through the water for their special treats!

Giraffe Jamboree

“Their Antics Will Have You Giraffing Out Loud”

Giraffe Jamboree - Sold OutBack by popular demand! Take a stroll to the Miller Brewing Company Giraffe Experience on this Wild Connections tour that takes you up close with the Zoo’s tallest animals! Meet our reticulated giraffes nose-to-nose and learn how we care for these amazing longnecks. Help us feed our herd an afternoon snack as you hear, from a zookeeper, how to protect these remarkable animals. Find out more about their behaviors, personalities and why their necks are so long! You’ll be shocked to discover how gentle and graceful these giants are up close!

ReindeerReindeer Roundup

Sleigh ‘Hi’ to the Reindeer!

Migrate with us to the west end of the Zoo to meet our hooved friends and learn what it takes to care for our resident reindeer pair. Get close enough to hear the click, click, click of their hooves and feel just how heavy their antlers really are! Then, help us feed Rosie and Kyllikki their favorite treats!

Bird Feeding Experience

Inca ternFeed our highest-flying friends!

Take flight with the flock! Join us for this 20-minute Wild Connections experience that lets you be part of feeding time! In the Herb and Nada Mahler Family Aviary, you’ll meet some of our most playful and colorful residents “up close and personal” – our mustached Inca terns. Learn why their white feathers that resemble a mustache are so important, and what you can do to help them thrive in the wild while feeding them their favorite food – fish! This experience is guaranteed to make a bird lover out of anyone!