Bear Encounter

Learn More!

Get up close and personal with some magnificent icons of the American wilderness. We are proud to announce our brand new, big, bold Bear Encounter.

Come meet Timber and Tyler, our resident black bears, in a special behind-the-scenes experience you’re sure to remember. Learn all about these fascinating giants and what it takes to care for them. You may even have a chance to feed the bears one of their favorite treats.

Bear Encounters will be available every Wednesday and Saturday starting in April, through the last Saturday in August.

Price: $169

*Price covers group entry for up to 4 people. Prices are subject to change without notice.

Location: Meet at the Bear Exhibit 15 minutes before your encounter begins.

Penguin Encounter

Know Before You Go

The Bear Encounter is outdoors. If inclement weather is a possibility, please call the zoo before you arrive. We may still hold the encounter in certain weather conditions. If we cancel the encounter due to inclement weather, we will notify you and offer you the choice of rescheduling or receiving a full refund.

  • Meet at the Bear Exhibit 15 minutes before your encounter begins.
  • Encounters are booked as a family group.
  • All participants must wear a face mask.
  • Keep your ticket to show to the keepers for your encounter.
  • Ages 6 and up. Participants under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult (21+).
  • Closed toed shoes should be worn to fully enjoy the experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

Participants must be at least 6 years old. Participants under age 16 must be accompanied by an adult (21+).

  • For your safety and comfort, please wear closed-toed shoes.
  • You may bring a camera, but flash is not permitted.
  • You may bring a cellphone, but please place it on silent mode before the encounter begins.
  • No food or drink is allowed in the encounter.

Direct contact with any of our animals is not guaranteed and will be at the discretion of the keeper.

Bear encounters include a slight incline on dirt/grass and requires participants to stand during the duration of the encounter (stairs if keepers include a view into the bear’s indoor space)

You may bring a stroller part of the way. However, for the Penguin Encounter you will be required to leave the stroller in a public area when you go behind the scenes. Please keep valuable personal belongings with you, rather than leaving them on a stroller.

Yes! The cost of zoo admission is included in the cost of an encounter.

Yes, show your ticket for the encounter to the keeper before the encounter begins.

Guests are welcome to attend solo. However, the cost of the encounter remains the same regardless of how many people (up to 4) participate.

Participants must arrive at the designated location at least 15 minutes before the time the encounter is scheduled to begin. Due to the nature of encounters, late participants cannot be accommodated. Reservations for late participants or no-shows will be forfeited without a refund.

The care for our animals is a top priority. Sometimes surprises occur. Therefore, it could be necessary to postpone or cancel an Animal Encounter. The zoo may cancel an encounter at any time and for any reason without prior notice. If this occurs, we will refund the full amount of the encounter fees.

Reservations are only valid on the date booked. Once a reservation is made, encounter fees are non-refundable. If a request to change the date is made at least two weeks before the date booked, it may be possible for the zoo to reschedule the encounter, but rescheduling is solely in the zoo’s discretion.

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