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.

Each Wild Encounter includes a 30-45 minute program that includes going beyond the public barriers and/or behind the scenes. 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 4×6 printed photo at the end (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 Offer a special enrichment item
New World Tropics (includes two-toed sloth & prehensile-tailed porcupine)* 11:00 am $225 Feed the animals
Red panda** (limited availability) 1:00 pm $350/Available February 21 – April 14 (Thursday, Saturday, Sunday) 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 are unavailable during breeding season and while a cub is present.