Wild Encounters

Get closer than you’ve ever imagined to some of your favorite Zoo residents! Wild Encounters are a 30 minute private experience with Zoo animals and an expert that can accommodate a group of up to five guests. Tickets include Zoo admission.

Check back for 2023 pricing!


  • All participants must have COVID-19 vaccinations, show proof of vaccination, and have a face mask in case it is required. 
  • All participants must be 8 years of age or older.
  • All participants under 16 must be accompanied by an adult.
  • All participants should wear closed-toe shoes.
  • 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.

  • Touching the animals without explicit direction from a Zoo staff member is not permitted.
  • At this time, we are unable to accommodate service animals during Wild Encounters.
  • Tickets must be purchased online at least 72 hours in advance.
  • If you or a group member have a special need or mobility need, please contact us in advance.
  • Sold online only. All sales are final.
  • Available Wild Encounters are subject to change.
  • All groups will first meet your tour guide in the Education Complex lobby to be taken to your wild encounter.

Aquarium Adventure

Tuesdays & Saturdays at 2 p.m.

Shadow a Zoo keeper in the Aquarium to see what it’s like to work with marine life from around the world. Aquarium Adventure animals will change daily, and may not be the same each time. You may meet a shark or explore with the stingrays – each encounter will be a different experience!


Check back in Spring 2023 for new dates.

Ambassador Animals

Sundays at 2 p.m.

Meet the Zoo’s most popular animal ambassadors up close. A variety of animals, representing more than 30 different species, are featured in the Zoo’s educational programs. A member of our knowledgeable education staff will guide your experience. Animals may include kinkajou, fennec foxes, or ball pythons. Specific animals will vary for each encounter.


Check back in Spring 2023 for new dates.


Tuesdays & Thursdays at 10 a.m.

Go nose-to-whisker with one of our most charming animals at the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium – the red panda. Step into a staff-only area to see what goes into their daily care and learn important conservation information about this unique species.



Check back in Spring 2023 for new dates.


Sundays & Saturdays 11:30 a.m. 

Want to meet the world’s tallest mammal? Get ready to look up to the sky during this amazing encounter experience. Learn all about the giraffes we have here at the Zoo and important conservation information!



Check back in Spring 2023 for new dates.

Questions? Interested in virtual options? Contact us at wildencounters@pittsburghzoo.org