Special Animal Encounters and Tours

Extra special experiences are available to our guests who want to learn even more about our wonderful animals. Choose any of these add-on experiences and make your day truly unforgettable!

These experiences require advance reservations (minimum of 7 days) and are based on availability. Please note: The fee for these special experiences is in addition to our zoo admission fees.

Family Animal Encounter 
$35 for a Family/Group of 2-9 People

Want to make your trip to the zoo something extra special for your loved ones? Small groups and families are invited to book a 30-minute private animal encounter—a close-up, hands-on experience with a few of our friendly program animals! Let us know which animals interest you most!

To schedule, please contact Jessamy Schwartz, Education Program Coordinator, at 218-730-4500 ext. 205.

Animal Feeding
$25/Person

Come behind-the-scenes with zookeepers to watch them feed the animals! You will spend approximately 30 minutes learning more about your chosen animal, preparing diets and then watching as they eat what you’ve helped prepare. Groups are limited to five people.

Choose from:
Pride of Lions – 9:00 to 9:30 a.m.
Amur Tiger – 3:30 to 4:30 p.m.

To schedule, please contact Dave Thompson, Director of Animal Management, at 218-730-4500 ext. 103.

Lion Painting Tour
$50/person

Come experience a unique opportunity to participate in a lion painting tour! Choose from a variety of colors and sit back and take in the amazing sight of our African Lions painting a special canvas just for you. This tour includes a behind the scenes view of our lion holding area and a freshly painted piece of artwork for you to take home. Groups are limited to 5 people and occur at 9:30AM. For their safety, babies and toddlers must be held during the tour.

To schedule, please contact Emily Perala, Lead Zookeeper, at 218-730-4500 ext. 102.

Behind-the-Scenes Closing Tour
$50/Person

Join our carnivore keepers behind-the-scenes and get up close with our lion pride and Amur tiger as they are given access to their holding areas. Learn about their stories and personalities from those who know them best. You’ll also visit the zoo’s Willard Munger Animal Care Center, a facility that is normally closed to the public, to see our animal hospital and commissary area, where the diets for our large carnivores are prepared. Tours run from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. and accommodate a maximum of five people. For their safety, babies and toddlers must be held during the tour.

To schedule, please contact Dave Thompson, Director of Animal Management, at 218-730-4500 ext. 103.

Zookeeper Job Shadowing | ages 13-17 only
This experience is specialized for small groups of 2, 3 or 4 teens.
$30/Person (includes admission) | available September-April

Attention teens! Wonder what it’s like to work with animals? Spend a morning not just job shadowing but actually helping behind the scenes at the zoo. You’ll get to prepare animal diets, make animal enrichments, tour our veterinary clinic, watch animal training, and more!

If you have 2-4 teens interested, please contact Jessamy about scheduling a morning (9:00 a.m.-12 noon, September-April) that works best for your group: 218-730-4500 ext. 205 or jschwartz@lszoo.org. If you only have one teen interested, s/he will need to register for one of our public offerings of this program. Groups of 5 or more teens should inquire about our Zoo Careers: Behind the Scenes program.