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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 Wild Connections Tours

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.”

Pollinators of the World

Pollinators of the WorldYou’ll join one of our zookeepers on this Wild Connection for a truly unique experience! Learn about how primates, bats, and bees play a role in seed dispersal and pollination. Some of our favorite foods are pollinated by these animals. This 30-minute tour takes us behind the scenes at Small Mammals to meet a resident fruit bat and get a glimpse of the beehive and a real honeycomb! Guaranteed to be an unforgettable experience!

Otterly Amazing North America

Otterly Amazing North AmericaHave a truly unique Wild Connection! Join us at the new Otter Passage exhibit to learn how zookeepers care for our North American river otters.  Keepers will demonstrate how we train the otters to participate in their own healthcare and present a variety of items used as enrichment to encourage natural behaviors and to stimulate these energetic animals. Then we’ll venture behind the caribou habitat to feed caribous Rosie, Kyllikki and Edan their afternoon snack. This tour is sure to be an otterly good time!

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!