Wild Encounters

The Pittsburgh Zoo & Aquarium is home to more than 8,000 animals representing over 600 species. This includes over 30 species of concern, which means their numbers are threatened, endangered, or even critically endangered. When you participate in a Wild Encounter, you not only get up close and personal with these amazing creatures, but you also help the Zoo support our animals. Go behind the scenes and learn about the personalities that make them unique, see how they live, and how we care for them.

Please select your Encounter Location to learn more and buy tickets. Please also review Wild Encounter Rules, below.

Wild Encounter Rules and Participation Requirements

  • All participants must follow the rules and restrictions outlined in each encounter, as well as agree to our policies.
  • Wild Encounters do not include admission. Admission tickets or active Pittsburgh Zoo Membership is required for all participants. Tickets and Memberships may be purchased online in advance or at admission gates.
  • All participants must be 10 years of age or older for ICC encounters. Encounters at the Zoo have age requirements listed with the specific encounter.
  • All participants under 16 years of age must be accompanied by an adult.
  • All participants should wear closed-toe shoes.
  • All participants are recommended to have COVID-19 vaccinations and must have a face mask in case it is required.
  • Extra health and safety measures, such as gloves and/or temperature checks, may be required during your encounter and will be provided by the Zoo or the ICC if necessary.
  • Touching the animals without explicit direction from a Zoo or ICC staff member is not permitted.
  • Currently, we are unable to accommodate service animals during Wild Encounters.
  • Tickets must be purchased online at least 48 hours in advance.
  • If you or a group member have a special need or mobility need, please contact us in advance. Accommodations will be made wherever possible.
  • All sales are final. First come, first served.
  • Available Wild Encounters are subject to change.
  • All Zoo groups will first meet the tour guide at the designated meeting area in the Village of the Zoo and all ICC groups will meet at the ICC Lodge.