Wild Encounters consist of education-based programs with up-close and personal animal experiences! There are several packages to choose from, dependent on the type of animal you’re interested in interacting with.

Wild Encounters allow participants to go beyond the public barriers and/or behind the scenes. Participants will learn about the animals featured in the encounter, their adaptations, threats and individual personalities, as well as how our staff care for the animals. Program length varies based on animal interest, though is typically 45 minutes to one hour. Each package offers a unique feature dependent on the species.

To book a Wild Encounters package, please contact the Binghamton Zoo Education Department at (607) 724-5461 ext. 235.

The Details

  • Wild Encounters are offered on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays
  • Packages/pricing is valid for up to 3 participants (additional 1 or 2 participants can be added for $25 per person)
  • All participants must be 7 years or older. Participants under 18 years old must be accompanied by an adult
  • Zoo admission is included in the package (if zoo is closed, participants will receive complimentary admission passes for a future date)
  • Book at least 2 weeks in advance (popularity of program may push back availability – book early!)
  • Binghamton Zoo at Ross Park members receive a $15 discount
  • All participants will receive a waiver to read through and sign, with the understanding that if they do not follow instructions, they will be asked to leave the Wild Encounter
  • Boots or sneakers are required
  • An education staff member will greet participants and give an introduction to the animal as a species in general, including their native habitat, diets, and behaviors. At this time, experience procedures will be reviewed and the waiver should be signed.
  • Participants will then meet the zookeeper assigned on the day of the program and begin their up-close animal experience.
  • Education staff will be present during the entire Wild Encounter to capture the interactive experience, and participants will receive a photo emailed to them after the experience (not included in leopard encounter, no photos will be allowed during this experience).
  • 10% of your Wild Encounter admission will be added to the Binghamton Zoo’s Global Conservation Fund for this year! Learn more about our conservation projects and partners here.

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Wild Encounter Time Price/Availability Special Feature
Children’s Zoo (goats) 9:30 am $100/Available April – November Participate in a goat training session & grooming
African penguin 11:00 am $225/Available April – October Offer a special enrichment item
New World Tropics (includes two-toed sloth & prehensile-tailed porcupine)* 11:00 am $225 Feed the animals
Red panda** 11:00 am $350 Offer a special enrichment item
Snow leopard 10:00 am $300 Observe a training session

*Due to the popularity of the New World Tropics program, booking is now required several months in advance.

**Red panda encounters only available on Saturdays and Sundays.